MONTMELO – Nico Rosberg put an end to a rotten run of form at the start of the 2015 Formula 1 season on Saturday by claiming his first pole position of the year for the Spanish Grand Prix.
For the first time in 2015, defending world champion Lewis Hamilton was second best as he lost his perfect qualifying record as Rosberg posted two lap times that were good enough for pole.
The intra-team fight at Mercedes has been very one-sided ever since the two drivers clashed on-track at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix. In the eleven races that have followed since then, Rosberg has beaten Hamilton just once, and his 2015 record reads 0-4. Winning in Spain today could be the catalyst in turning his season around.
Ferrari was unable to put up much of a fight to the Mercedes drivers in qualifying despite bringing a raft of updates for the SF15-T car to Barcelona. Sebastian Vettel will lead its charge from third place on the grid, whilst Kimi Raikkonen starts from seventh.
The biggest surprise of qualifying came from Toro Rosso rookies Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen, who will start today’s race from fifth and sixth place on the grid. Williams’ Valtteri Bottas had doubts about their race pace, but will need to keep an eye on his mirrors when starting from fourth place.
FROM THE STEWARDS’ OFFICE
- Nico Rosberg was handed a reprimand on Friday for incorrectly entering the pit lane during practice.
- Sergio Perez, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas have all been fined for speeding in the pit lane across the course of the race weekend.
STARTING GRID FOR THE 2015 SPANISH GRAND PRIX
1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
3. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
4. Valtteri Bottas Williams
5. Carlos Sainz Jr Toro Rosso
6. Max Verstappen Toro Rosso
7. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari
8. Daniil Kvyat Red Bull
9. Felipe Massa Williams
10. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
11. Romain Grosjean Lotus
12. Pastor Maldonado Lotus
13. Fernando Alonso McLaren
14. Jenson Button McLaren
15. Felipe Nasr Sauber
16. Marcus Ericsson Sauber
17. Nico Hulkenberg Force India
18. Sergio Perez Force India
19. Will Stevens Manor
20. Roberto Merhi Manor
The Spanish Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.