Rosberg takes second consecutive pole for Mercedes

Rosberg storms to Sakhir pole position


20 April 2013 - 14:10
Rosberg takes second consecutive (...)

Nico Rosberg has claimed a second consecutive pole position for the Mercedes AMG F1 outfit after surprising most with his pace during qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Mercedes had been somewhat quiet during the free practice sessions on Friday and Saturday morning whilst Ferrari and Lotus were the teams pegged to secure pole. But looking strong throughout qualifying, Rosberg set a timed lap of 1:32.330 at the start of Q3, a lap which would prove to be impossible to match by anyone else. Sebastian Vettel was second, 0.2 seconds off the pace set by Rosberg, and just 0.1 seconds ahead of third placed Fernando Alonso, who aborted his final lap of qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton put in another impressive showing of the Mercedes strength, qualifying fourth fastest for the Bahrain Grand Prix. However, after a tyre delamination during free practice three Mercedes were forced to change Hamilton’s gearbox, resulting in a five place grid penalty. Hamilton will start tomorrows’ race from ninth place. Mark Webber was fifth, but also has a grid penalty and will start from seventh. As a result, Felipe Massa moves into fourth place after taking a ‘gamble’ running on the hard Pirelli compounds, knowing that he’d gain two places if behind Hamilton and Webber. This could prove to be a clever tactic when it comes to tyre preservation during tomorrows’ Grand Prix.

The Force India cars of Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil line up seventh and eighth on the grid with the team looking to convert a sound qualifying session into Championship points tomorrow. With all the excitement and expectations set from a strong free practice run, Kimi Raikkonen had a disappointing qualifying, placing just ninth whilst Jenson Button sits in tenth after failing to set a timed lap in his McLaren.

Romain Grosjean starts from eleventh after a late run from his teammate Raikkonen saw the Frenchman pushed into the knockout zone. A tyre lockup from Sergio Perez going into turn 8 during Q2 saw young driver relegated to twelfth, whilst Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas and Jean-Eric Vergne line up behind.

Red Bull and McLaren opted to go straight out on the medium Pirelli compound at the start of Q1, whilst Alonso was quickest by nearly half a second. An error on his fast lap saw Pastor Maldonado drop out in seventeenth; though setting an exact same time as teammate Bottas, Bottas had set his time first and therefore was able to progress to Q2.

Esteban Gutierrez continues to struggle in Formula 1, only able to qualify in eighteenth, with a grid penalty hanging over him that will mean he will start the Bahrain Grand Prix from the back of the grid. The ‘usual’ cars of Caterham and Marussia occupied the final times on the grid, all unable to break into Q2. Charles Pic showed improved pace from the Caterham, out qualifying the Marussia of Jules Bianchi whilst van der Garde was able to beat Max Chilton.

Full qualifying times and results can be found below. The 2013 Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix starts tomorrow, Sunday April 21st at 15:00 local time.

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Pos.DriverTeamQ1 timeQ2 timeQ3 time
01 Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG 1:33.364 1:32.867 1:32.330
02 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Renault 1:33.327 1:32.746 1:32.584
03 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:32.878 1:33.316 1:32.667
04 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:33.498 1:33.346 1:32.762
05 Mark Webber Red Bull Renault 1:33.966 1:33.098 1:33.078
06 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:33.780 1:33.358 1:33.207
07 Paul di Resta Force India Mercedes 1:33.762 1:33.335 1:33.235
08 Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 1:34.048 1:33.378 1:33.246
09 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 1:33.827 1:33.146 1:33.327
10 Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 1:34.071 1:33.702 -:—.---
---------------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
11 Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 1:33.498 1:33.762
12 Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes 1:34.310 1:33.914
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:34.120 1:33.974
14 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari 1:34.409 1:33.976
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams Renault 1:34.425 1:34.105
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso Ferrari 1:34.314 1:34.284
---------------- --------------- ---------- ---------- ----------
17 Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 1:34.425
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 1:34.730
19 Charles Pic Caterham Renault 1:35.283
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth 1:36.178
21 Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth 1:36.304
22 Giedo Van der Garde Caterham Renault 1:36.476


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