Spanish GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to F1 pole position

Nico Rosberg dominated qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix, beating Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to record his first pole position of the Formula 1 season

Spanish GP: Nico Rosberg beats Lewis Hamilton to F1 pole position

Rosberg laid down a 1m24.681s on his first run in the top-10 shootout, and that proved enough for top spot when Hamilton failed to improve on his second run.

The Mercedes W06 had such a pace advantage over the rest that Hamilton and Rosberg could afford to run the harder tyre compound and still outpace everyone else in Q1, so it was only ever likely to be a personal battle between the two for pole - one that Rosberg won.

Rosberg learned from Bahrain qualifying error

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was best-of-the-rest, but almost eight tenths adrift of Rosberg, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen used a new set of medium tyres to guarantee passage through Q1 and paid the price.

The Finn was four tenths slower on his sole Q3 run than he had been in Q2 and wound up seventh on the grid, behind the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and the Toro Rossos of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen that have looked strong all weekend.

Felipe Massa wound up ninth fastest, over a second slower than his Williams team-mate Bottas.

The Brazilian split the Red Bulls, with Daniil Kvyat getting the better of team-mate Daniel Ricciardo by 0.141s to qualify eighth.

Both Lotus drivers failed to make it through to Q3 by over half a second, with Romain Grosjean 11th (complaining of a lack of front-end grip) and Pastor Maldonado 12th.

Both McLarens made it through to Q2 for the first time this season, but lacked the pace to be top-10 contenders.

Fernando Alonso was 11th fastest on his first Q2 run on used medium tyres, but he failed to improve on new rubber on his second run and slipped to 13th, just ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.

Felipe Nasr's Sauber split the McLarens in Q1, but the Brazilian lost pace in Q2 and wound up 15th.

Team-mate Marcus Ericsson joined the Force Indias and Manor Marussias in falling after the first segment of the session.

Ericsson found six tenths of a second on his final run in Q1, but it wasn't enough for him to join team-mate Nasr in Q2.

Ericsson was almost half a second slower than Nasr - lapping 0.171s shy of making the cut - just ahead of the struggling VJM08s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.

The Manor/Marussias predictably brought up the rear of the grid, almost 2.8s adrift of the next fastest car.

Will Stevens again had the better of team-mate Roberto Merhi, to the tune of eight tenths of a second.

SPANISH GP GRID

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m24.681s -
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.948s 0.267s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m25.458s 0.777s
4 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m25.694s 1.013s
5 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m26.136s 1.455s
6 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1m26.249s 1.568s
7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m26.414s 1.733s
8 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1m26.629s 1.948s
9 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m26.757s 2.076s
10 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m26.770s 2.089s
11 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1m27.375s 2.694s
12 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1m27.450s 2.769s
13 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m27.760s 3.079s
14 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m27.854s 3.173s
15 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.005s 3.324s
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.112s 3.431s
17 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m28.365s 3.684s
18 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m28.442s 3.761s
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 1m31.200s 6.519s
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 1m32.038s 7.357s


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