Qualifying is finished for the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix and it was full of surprises. The first surprise was that Sebastian Vettel did not make it out of Q2 and will be starting in grid position 11. The second surprise was that Nico Rosberg in a Mercedes will start from the pole position. It was reported that this is the first time that a Mercedes will start from the pole position in Grand Prix racing since Juan Manuel Fangio last did it in 1955.
Also due to Lewis Hamilton electing to take a 5 grid position penalty for changing a gearbox, Michael Schumacher in another Mercedes will start beside Rosberg, making it an all Mercedes front row. Mercedes has shown speed in practice and qualifying, but their race performance so far this year has been rather ordinary … disappointing really.
Kobayashi in a Sauber-Ferrari continues to show that the performance of the Sauber team in 2012 is real. He qualified on speed in fourth position and will start in third position. Kimi Raikkonen again shows that he belongs in Formula 1 racing, as he will start fourth.
The Ferrari team must again be disappointed as Alonso will start in ninth position and Massa in the 12th position.
The Red Bull team will have their hands full in the race with Webber starting in 6th and Vettel back in 11th. When starting that far back in the grid, it is easy to get caught up in the typical Turn 1 confusion on the start.
These qualifying and starting grid positions should make tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix race very interesting. The complete qualifying times and starting grid positions are shown below:
2012 Chinese Grand Prix Qualifying Times and Starting Grid Positions
|6||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.290|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Lotus-Renault||No Time|
|11||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:36.031|
|15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:36.317|
|16||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:36.745|
|23||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:40.411|