Starting grid for the 2015 Spanish Grand Prix

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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.

You can read a complete report of qualifying here.

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.

X44 Racing win 2022 Extreme E championship as Abt Cupra score first race victory

2022 Extreme E Uruguay
Extreme E
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Abt Cupra Racing’s Nasser Al-Attiyah and Klara Andersson scored their first win in the Extreme E Energy X Prix in the 2022 finale in Uruguay as Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing drivers Sebastien Loeb and Cristina Gutierrez survived a chaotic finale to edge the 2021 champion Rosberg X Prix team of Johan Kristoffersson and Mikhaela Ahlin-Kottulinsky, by two points.

“There are so many emotions,” Andersson said in Extreme E’s coverage. “I’ve been waiting for this for so long. In my second race, first full weekend to be at the top of the podium: it’s big.”

Andersson was behind the wheel at the finish.

Rosberg Racing entered the event with a 17-point advantage over X44, but the standings were close enough that four teams remained in contention in Round 5.

“It’s a crucial weekend for us,” Loeb said in Extreme E’s coverage prior to the race. “We are not in the best position to win the championship, but the only thing we can do is try to win the race and score as many points as possible.”

The top two title contenders each crashed in qualification and were relegated to the Crazy Race, Extreme E’s version of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). For the moment, they had the steepest hill to climb, but then the other two championship contending teams, Chip Ganassi Racing and Acciona Sainz Racing failed to advance from their heats.

Only one team advances from the Crazy Race, so the X44 drivers were in a must-win situation to simply keep hope alive.

More: Extreme E 2023 schedule

Ahlin-Kottulinsky and Gutierrez ran wheel to wheel into the first turn at the start of the LCQ.

The Rosberg racer experienced crash damage in that turn that damaged her front steering, but managed to limp back to the pits at the end of her two-lap stint. The team attempted to fix the steering, but incurred a penalty for having too many mechanics in the pit area.

Meanwhile, Gutierrez took the early lead, but knew she would need to sit through a five-second penalty for an incident earlier in the weekend. The female half of the gender equal pair erased the penalty by entering the Switch Zone with a five-second lead before turning the car over to Loeb.

That was all the nine-time World Rally Championship titlist needed to give him the advantage needed to win the Crazy Race.

But the championship was not over yet. X44 Racing needed to finish third or better in the five-car finale to earn enough points for the title and after advancing from the LCQ, they were forced to take the worst grid position.

A chaotic start to the Finale saw Loeb run as high the lead and low as fourth after getting pushed off course during his first lap. And that is how he entered to Switch Zone.

On her first lap, Gutierrez slammed into Molly Taylor. With one lap remaining, X44 and Gutierrez were still in fourth and the title hope was quickly evaporating, but it was announced halfway through the lap that the third-running Andretti United team would suffer a penalty for a Switch Zone infraction. The seven-second deduction for Timmy Hansen braking too late in the zone made the difference in the title.

Coming off a disappointing Copper X Prix when Tanner Foust and Emma Gilmour crossed under the checkers first, but were relegated to fifth by penalty, the McLaren pair scored their first podium of the season in second.