Spanish Grand Prix 2013: Nico Rosberg pips Lewis Hamilton to pole
Spanish Grand Prix 2013: Nico Rosberg seals back-to-back pole positions after an electric lap edged out Lewis Hamilton
Nico Rosberg secured back-to-back pole positions after an electric lap saw him edge out Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.
The German finished a tenth of a second ahead of his team-mate as they locked out the front row, ahead of world champion Sebastian Vettel.
No one was eager to get out immediately in Q1, with Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo the first to post a time seven minutes into the session.
But more quickly followed and home favourite Fernando Alonso and Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa both set times of 1:22.264 and 1:22.492 respectively, building on solid laps set in practice.
Hamilton – on the medium tyre – took the lead with a 1:21.728 to secure his passage into Q2, just ahead of team-mate Rosberg and triple world champion Vettel.
The Williams duo of Valtteri Bottas and Pastor Maldonado dropped out ahead of Giedo van der Garde, Jules Bianchi, Max Chilton and Charles Pic.
Q2 also began slowly, but Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen set the pace on a fresh set of medium tyres with a 1:21.676 lap time before Alonso went three hundredths quicker moments later.
Red Bull duo Vettel and Mark Webber found some pace as the former went quickest with a 1:21.602, before Hamilton took six tenths off to go ahead of the German.
Jenson Button in his off-the-pace McLaren dropped out in 14th but his young team-mate Sergio Perez outqualifed him for the first time to make it into Q3.
Rosberg set the early pace in Q3 with a time of 1:20.824 as Mercedes’ speed in the final sector continued to grow.
A grandstand finish saw all ten cars on track and Rosberg improve his time, as Vettel and Raikkonen finished behind him and Hamilton, with the two Ferraris fifth and sixth.
Spanish Grand Prix 2013: Qualifying times
1. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 20.718s
2. Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 20.972s
3. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 1m 21.054s
4. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Lotus-Renault 1m 21.177s
5. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 21.218s
6. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 21.219s
7. Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 1m 21.308s
8. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault 1m 21.570s
9. Sergio Perez Mexico McLaren-Mercedes 1m 22.069s
10. Paul di Resta Britain Force India-Mercedes 1m 22.233s
11. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 22.127s
12. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m 22.166s
13. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes 1m 22.346s
14. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes 1m 22.355s
15. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Sauber-Ferrari 1m 22.389s
16. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari 1m 22.793s
17. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Renault 1m 23.260s
18. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Renault 1m 23.318s
19. Giedo van der Garde Holland Caterham-Renault 1m 24.661s
20. Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Cosworth 1m 24.713s
21. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Cosworth 1m 24.996s
22. Charles Pic France Caterham-Renault 1m 25.070s