Rosberg tops Hamilton for pole in Spanish GP qualifying

Nico Rosberg took his first pole of the 2015 Formula One season after beating Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton by .3s in qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Rosberg had been out-qualified by championship leader Hamilton in every round this season, but on Saturday the German looked stellar, topping FP3 and then taking the pole in the final few minutes in qualifying.

The Mercedes duo lock out the front row on the grid and are once again followed by the fast Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, who was over.8s behind Rosberg.

Valtteri Bottas put Williams up into the second row and will start Sunday’s race from fourth.
The surprising pace of Toro Rosso and their rookies was the shock of qualifying as both Carlos Sainz Jr. and Max

Verstappen took row three, both within .5s of Bottas.

The struggle is real for Kimi Raikkonen. After lighting up a sensational, gritty drive in Bahrain that saw the Finn come within a whiskers reach of victory, the Ferrari driver struggled with pace in Q3 and will start the Spanish Grand Prix from the seventh position.

“In Q2 the feeling was pretty ok but then in Q3 it was difficult again, I had not much grip and did a bad lap,” said Raikkonen. “It’s one of those weekends in which things keep going a little wrong here and there, and today we also lost one set of Medium tires because of a burning of a blanket.

“Tomorrow is another day and the race is a different story, obviously we start in a position that is not ideal , but we have a good package. If we have a good start we can go from there, I’m sure we have the speed to have a good race”.

Daniil Kvyat led Red Bull and will start eighth, with his teammate Daniel Ricciardo starting from 10 and Williams’ Felipe Massa sandwiched between them in ninth.

               Spanish GP qualifying results
Pos Driver Team Time
1 Rosberg Mercedes 1:24.681
2 Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.948
3 Vettel Ferrari 1:25.458
4 Bottas Williams 1:25.694
5 Sainz Toro Rosso 1:26.136
6 V’tappen Toro Rosso 1:26.249
7 Raikkonen Ferrari 1:26.414
8 Kvyat Red Bull 1:26.629
9 Massa Williams 1:26.757
10 Ricciardo Red Bull 1:26.770
11 Grosjean Lotus 1:27.375
12 Maldonado Lotus 1:27.450
13 Alonso McLaren 1:27.760
14 Button McLaren 1:27.854
15 Nasr Sauber 1:28.005
16 Ericsson Sauber 1:28.112
17 H’berg Force India 1:28.365
18 Perez Force India 1:28.442
19 Stevens Manor 1:31.200
20 Mehri Manor 1:32.038


Image: Mercedes AMG F1

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Joey Barnes is the Founder of Motorsports Tribune. He has covered auto racing since 2013 that has spanned from Formula 1 to NASCAR, with coverage on IndyCar. Additionally, his work has appeared on Racer, and Autoweek magazine. In 2017, he was recognized with an award in Spot News Writing by the National Motorsports Press Association.

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