Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG Petronas, Formula 1 2012 Chinese Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg considered to be the most talented driver to never have been on pole position or won a race has got one of the two monkeys off his back.  It took Rosberg 110 GPs to finally set a pole position time in his Mercedes AMG Petronas half a second ahead of the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton who will start from the second position. Well, in a different universe. Hamilton’s five place grid penalty for the gearbox change will push him down to seventh. Rosberg’s teammate Michael Schumacher succeeded in getting onto the second row of the starting grid in third position while Kamui Kobayashi in the Sauber Ferrari also got onto the second row in fourth position.  Comeback man Kimi Raikkonnen in the Lotus has managed to get his car onto the third row with a fifth position on the starting grid while Jenson Button in the second of McLaren Mercedes’ qualified in sixth position while Mark Webber in the Red Bull Racing Renault qualified in seventh position.  Sergio Perez made it two Sauber’s in the top 10 with an eighth position while Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari managed only a ninth position while the top ten was rounded out by the other comeback man yet again in a Lotus, Romain Grosjean.

Lewis Hamilton’s five place penalty leaves a top 10 line up in the order of Rosberg, Schumacher; Kobayashi, Raikkonen; Button, Webber; Hamilton, Perez; Alonso, and Grosjean.

In what must be the most dramatic result of the qualifying at Shanghai, defending World Champion Sebastian Vettel was unable to make it into Q3 and could only finish qualifying in 11th position.  The Force India cars are firmly stuck in the midfield not having made into the Q3 and not ever looking like they would make it into the final segment.  Paul Di Resta was marginally quicker than Nico Hulkenberg in the other Sahara Force India.  However, the most interesting aspect of qualifying was that with the exception of pole sitter Rosberg, all other drivers till the 15th position are only separated by just a few tenths of a second.  Expect a dramatic race tomorrow, especially with the Mercedes cars known to wear out their tyres fast and that could be what the McLaren’s of Hamilton and Button need to fight for a win.  This could also be the chance for the Iceman Raikonnen to at least get onto the podium if not fight for victory.