Rosberg claims his first ever pole position

Saturday 14th April 2012, 08:07 by Ryan Wood 

Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Nico Rosberg will start in pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix after dominating the final part of qualifying to take his first ever pole.

The German's time, a 1:35.121, was over half a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton in second, but the McLaren driver will start P7 after taking a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox.

Rosberg's pole is Mercedes first since Juan Manuel Fangio, driving a W196, took pole in Monza in 1955.

Michael Schumacher will start alongside his team-mate to give Mercedes a 1-2, with the seven-time world champion gaining P2 thanks to Hamilton's penalty.

Kamui Kobayashi responded to his team-mates good form by popping up in fourth ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Mark Webber and Sergio Perez in eighth.

Sebastian Vettel was the surprise loss in Q2. The current world champion failed to make it through to the final session - his decision to revert to the pre-season spec exhausts clearly not paying off.

Pastor Maldonado, 13th, will be investigated after qualifying after he was deemed to have blocked Heikki Kovalainen during the first part of the session.

2012 Chinese GP Qualifying Results: (* = penalty)

PosDriverTeamQ1 TimeQ2 TimeQ3 Time
11. S. Vettel Red Bull 1:36.911 1:36.031  
07. M. Webber Red Bull 1:36.682 1:35.700 1:36.290
02. L. Hamilton* McLaren 1:36.763 1:35.902 1:35.626
06. J. Button McLaren 1:36.746 1:35.942 1:36.191
14. B. Senna Williams 1:36.674 1:36.289  
09. F. Alonso Ferrari 1:36.292 1:35.982 1:36.622
12. F. Massa Ferrari 1:36.556 1:36.255  
16. N. Hulkenberg Force India 1:36.921 1:36.745  
13. P. Maldonado Williams 1:36.528 1:36.283  
04. K. Kobayashi Sauber 1:36.863 1:35.853 1:35.784
08. S. Perez Sauber 1:36.198 1:35.831 1:36.524
20. V. Petrov Caterham 1:38.677

05. K. Raikkonen Lotus 1:36.850 1:35.921 1:35.898
03. M. Schumacher Mercedes 1:36.797 1:35.794 1:35.691
01. N. Rosberg Mercedes 1:36.875 1:35.725 1:35.121
10. R. Grosjean Lotus 1:36.343 1:35.903 No Time
18. J. Vergne Toro Rosso 1:37.714    
15. P. di Resta Force India 1:36.639 1:36.317  
23. P. de la Rosa HRT 1:40.411    
17. D. Ricciardo Toro Rosso 1:36.933 1:36.956  
19. H. Kovalainen Caterham 1:38.463  
22. C. Pic Marussia 1:39.717    
21. T. Glock Marussia 1:39.282    
24. N. Karthikeyan HRT 1:41.400
 
Q1 107% Time: 1:42.931

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