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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)
Pos Driver Team Q1 Time Q2 Time Q3 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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