Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg took his maiden pole position in Formula One racing by topping the times sheets in the Chinese Grand Prix qualifying here Saturday. Force India failed to make the top-10.
Rosberg clocked the fastest time of 1 min 35.121 seconds, half a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton of McLaren. Seven-time World champion Michael Schumacher, lapped 1:35.691 to finish third in his Mercedes. The German, however, will start second in the Sunday’s race after with Hamilton being handed over a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change.
Hamilton, who took pole in Australia and Malaysia, will be starting from seventh on the grid behind Kamui Kobayashi of Sauber, Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button of McLaren, as well as Red Bull’s Mark Webber.
Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, the current leader of the drivers’ standings, came ninth while the reigning drivers’champion Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull failed to make the Q3 and will start in 11th position.
Force India’s Paul di Resta and Nico Hulkenberg were 15th and 16th fastest.
Narain Karthikeyan set the slowest time of 1:41.000 in his HRT, finishing 24th.