Felipe Massa received a three place grid penalty for blocking and will start in ninth on Sunday. This is how the grid lines up for Sundays GP.
1. Nico Rosberg – Mercedes – 1:20.718
2. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:20.972
3. Sebastian Vettel – Red Bull – 1:21.054
4. Kimi Raikkonen – Lotus – 1:21.177
5. Fernando Alonso – Ferrari – 1:21.218
6. Felipe Massa – Ferrari – 1:21.219 *handed three-place grid penalty for blocking. Starts ninth
7. Romain Grosjean – Lotus – 1:21.308
8. Mark Webber – Red Bull – 1:21.570
9. Sergio Perez – McLaren – 1:22.069
10. Paul Di Resta – Force India – 1:22.233
Nico Rosberg: It’s a great feeling to be on pole again. So far this weekend has been very positive and it’s a pleasure to see that the team is improving and fighting through the problems together. I know everyone back at the factory and at home will have been watching this afternoon and it’s a great feeling for all of us. However, we know that this is only half of the job completed and have the painful memory of what happened in Bahrain to prove that. We’ve worked very hard on our race pace but this track is tough for the tyres, particularly with graining. So it will be a big challenge tomorrow and our goal is to make the most of the opportunity we have from starting at the front and get a strong result for the team.
Lewis Hamilton: A great job by the team and I’m so happy that we got a one-two qualifying result today. It’s a real bonus for us to be so high up, and that’s all down to the hard work that the team have put into this car, I can’t thank them enough. Of course, I’d like to be one place higher but Nico did an awesome job and really nailed his lap. I’ve not been totally happy with the balance of my car all weekend, even today, so we need to look at it this evening and see what we can do for the race. Limiting the degradation is going to be my major challenge as the general pace isn’t too bad. It’s going to be tough to keep these positions tomorrow but we’ll give it our best shot.
JENSON BUTTON: Congratulations to Checo – he did a great job, particularly in Q2. He did everything right this afternoon and showed that some of our recent upgrades are definitely working. It’s not yet enough, but it’s rewarding to see that we’re making some progress. “For me, the car felt okay in Q1, but, in Q2, I couldn’t find the grip for my final run. It felt as though the tyre pressures may have been too high, but to be honest we’re not yet quite sure exactly what happened.
“So, tomorrow, from 14th on the grid, whatever we do will be difficult. It’ll be a tricky afternoon, but we’ll definitely do our best to make the best of it.”
Sebastian Vette: “I was pretty happy with the last sector, as historically it’s been a bit weak for me. Now finally, after the last couple of years, I understand the last few corners a little better. I’m quite happy as yesterday and this morning I wasn’t too comfortable, particularly in the last sector, but we improved the car. We had a pretty smooth qualifying session, we took a slightly different approach to some others using option tyres only – whether that helps us tomorrow we‘ll have to wait and see, but it will be an interesting race and a lot will be about tyre degradation. It’s good to start a little bit higher up, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
Mark Webber:“Qualifying went well today apart from Q3. I was disappointed with the lap in Q3 and lost a lot of time in the last sector; I’m normally quite strong there, but I was in trouble with the rears. It’s a sensitive game these days and you need to get everything lined up. So, in the end I’m disappointed with the last lap, but everything else I was happy with. It will be an interesting race tomorrow.”
Paul Di Resta: “I think we can feel pretty pleased with tenth because we achieved our target of reaching Q3. I did not quite get the maximum from Q3, because it was difficult to optimise the final sector on my out lap, but we are still in a good position for the race. Tyre wear will play a big role tomorrow because this place is one of the hardest tracks for the tyres. Hopefully that will work to our advantage and we can make some progress with a good strategy and not spend too much time in the pit lane. There will obviously be a lot of cars behind me with new tyres, so the race to the first corner will be crucial.”
Daniel Ricciardo: “I was pleased with the way the session went overall, particularly Q2 and I think we got the most we could out of the car. While yesterday was a good day for us, this morning was nowhere near as positive, as I had problems with the balance on the car. So we had to play catch-up and this afternoon we managed to get it right. I was happy with my lap in Q2, even though you can’t help feeling a little bit disappointed to miss out on Q3 by such a small margin. But we are close and we can have a good race tomorrow. We have made progress and we are once again looking as competitive as we did in China.”