Mercedes AMG Petronas locked out the front row of the grid for the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit today with Nico Rosberg putting the F1 W03 on pole position, and Michael Schumacher qualifying in third place, although he will start the race from second position.
Nico scored his maiden Formula One pole position this afternoon, with an advantage of over half a second. Michael qualified third and will start tomorrow's race from second place following a grid penalty for Lewis Hamilton. This is the ninth Formula One pole position for a works Silver Arrow and the 85th for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One. A works Silver Arrow last started from pole at the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, with Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel.
Nico Rosberg: "It's a very special day for me because this is my first pole in Formula One, and the first for a Silver Arrow since 1955. Firstly it was a strange feeling because I was watching the end of Q3 from the FIA garage as we decided to save a set of option tyres for the race, and I couldn't do anything but watch! Seeing that I finished at the top of the timesheets and with half a second in hand made me the happiest man today. Thanks to the team, everyone here and in the factories, who have done a great job to develop and improve our Silver Arrow. We don't know what will happen in the race tomorrow, and it will be a challenge to stay in front, but for the moment, I will enjoy starting next to Michael from the front row which is also very special to me."
Michael Schumacher: "This really is a special day for our Mercedes-Benz team, having two Silver Arrows starting from the front row of the Chinese Grand Prix. It's a great result, and I am very happy for everybody. Congratulations to Nico, he achieved his first pole position with a just fabulous lap. I can easily respect he did the better job today, and I am happy for him. I am equally happy for Norbert, Ross and all the guys here at the track and in Brackley and Brixworth, who had to wait quite some time and have been so patient. We can only compliment their hard work. A big thank you to Daimler for always supporting us; we are doing all we can to bring the Mercedes-Benz name to the front, where it belongs. As for me, I am happy too, and obviously my ambition for the race is to stay where we are now. But tomorrow is another story, even if in terms of set-up we have prepared the car mainly for the race. We will definitely try and show a good performance, and I am looking forward to it."
Ross Brawn: "It was an exceptional qualifying session for us and I am very pleased with the way the whole team worked to achieve it. Congratulations to both drivers, but especially Nico on a stunning lap which earned him his first pole position. It is a great boost for everyone, and gives lots of encouragement to the team here at the track, in Brackley and Brixworth. We hope it will prove to be a step on the way to achieving our ambitions; however, we know it is only a small step and that what really counts is the race. That's what we have been working on, to start delivering similar levels of performance on Sunday afternoon."
Norbert Haug: "What a fantastic lap from Nico for pole position - in his single attempt in Q3, he was half a second quicker than anybody else, which speaks both for him and the team. A big thank you to everybody from Mercedes for a great job and for all the relentless work that they are putting in to continuously improve our performance. The three fastest cars today are powered by the Mercedes V8 so well done to all our guys in Brixworth at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. Michael missed P2 today by less than a tenth of a second, but as Lewis will have a grid penalty, Michael will start next to Nico on the front row tomorrow. A Silver Arrows front row last happened at Monza in 1955; now, after two years in the modern era of the Silver Arrows works team, we have achieved our first one-two on the grid. Although we are in the best possible positions today, we certainly do not think that we are already winners tomorrow. So far, our long runs on high fuel and our tyre usage didn't look bad according to Pirelli, so we all will do our best for tomorrow. Hats off to Nico again - this was a great lap, my friend, which you will remember for a very long time."
Check out our Qualifying gallery, here.