F1 2013

Rosberg reaps the whirlwind – Mercedes on pole again

Mercedes bounced back from a disappointing start to the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend to secure a comfortable pole position; Nico Rosberg was the man on the move as he set the desert alight with a blistering pole lap.

Smiles from Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, but it's Fernando Alonso with the biggest grin; he is sitting well-placed for the win tomorrow.

Smiles from Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel, but it’s Fernando Alonso with the biggest grin; he is sitting well-placed for the win tomorrow.

World Champion Sebastian Vettel will start the race from 2nd, ahead of the Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Paul Di Resta enjoyed a very competitive VJM06 and used his improved car to set a time good enough for 5th after penalties were applied to Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton respectively (Webber takes a three place drop for his clash with Vergne in China, while Hamilton had a gearbox replacement after his FP3 escapades that drops him five places).

Adrian Sutil joins his Force India team-mate on the third row of the grid ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button, the McLaren driver relieved at having made it through to the final session of qualifying.

His team-mate Sergio Perez was not so fortunate, dropping behind the lacklustre Romain Grosjean in 12th. Daniel Ricciardo couldn’t repeat his heroics of twelve months ago but still performed beyond expectations to net 13th for Toro Rosso, while Nico Hulkenberg dragged an increasingly dire Sauber into 14th ahead of Valtteri Bottas.

Jean Eric Vergne beat Pastor Maldonado to 16th place, with Esteban Gutierrez separating the Venezuelan from the Caterham of Charles Pic. Bianchi, Van Der Garde and Chilton round out the grid.

Fernando Alonso is the best placed driver for victory, able to mount a co-ordinated attack with the help of Felipe Massa to overcome Vettel should he be in a position to do so. Rosberg has cited Mercedes excessive tyre wear as evidence enough that he will not be fighting for victory tomorrow, while Force India have exhibited exceptional race-pace in the free practice sessions held so far.

1 N.ROSBERG DEU Mercedes 1:32:330
2 S.VETTEL DEU Red Bull 1:32:584
3 F.ALONSO ESP Ferrari 1:32:667
4 F.MASSA BRA Ferrari 1:33:207
5 P.DI RESTA GBR Force India 1:33:235
6 A.SUTIL DEU Force India 1:33:246
7 M.WEBBER AUS Red Bull 1:33:078*
8 K.RAIKKONEN FIN Lotus 1:33:327
9 L.HAMILTON GBR Mercedes 1:32:762*
10 J.BUTTON GBR McLaren 1:33:702
11 R.GROSJEAN FRA Lotus 1:33:762
12 S.PEREZ MEX McLaren 1:33:914
13 D.RICCIARDO AUS Toro Rosso 1:33:974
14 N.HULKENBERG DEU Sauber 1:33:976
15 V.BOTTAS FIN Williams 1:34:105
16 J.VERGNE FRA Toro Rosso 1:34:284
17 P.MALDONADO VEN Williams 1:34:425
18 E.GUTIERREZ MEX Sauber 1:34:730
19 C.PIC FRA Caterham 1:35:283
20 J.BIANCHI FRA Marussia 1:36:178
21 G.VAN DER GARDE NED Caterham 1:36:304
22 M.CHILTON GBR Marussia 1:36:476

*Penalties for Mark Webber and Lewis Hamilton move Webber from 5th to 7th and Hamilton from 4th to 9th.





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