Mercedes Sweeps Barcelona Front Row
BARCELONA, Spain – The Mercedes duo of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton claimed a commanding one-two on the grid for tomorrow’s Formula One Gran Spanish Grand Prix after a dramatic Q3 qualifying session at Circuit de Catalunya on Saturday.
The Silver Arrows pairing showed speed throughout qualifying as Hamilton had set the pace in Q1 ahead of Rosberg. In 14th and 15th places the McLarens were perilously close to missing the Q2 cut, but the first man to do that was Valtteri Bottas for Williams.
As Hamilton again set the pace in Q2, the session brought embarrassment for his former teammate Jenson Button. The McLaren man wound up only 14th at 1:22.355, moments after teammate Sergio Perez had brought joy to the team with an excellent lap of 1:21.790 which put him seventh.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa ended Q2 under investigation having allegedly impeded Red Bull’s Mark Webber during the session.
Finally, Q3 saw Rosberg set the pace on his first run with 1:20.824. He, the two Ferrari drivers, and the two Lotus drivers were the only ones to do two runs.
On his only run, Sebastian Vettel moved into P2 with 1:21.054 before Rosberg improved his time with 1:20.718 and then Hamilton’s sole run saw him post 1:20.972 to wrap up the front row in front of the onlooking Daimler boss Dr. Zetsche.
Kimi Raikkonen held on to fourth for Lotus, leaving the third row to the Ferraris. Local hero Fernando Alonso was fifth, with Massa right on his tail in sixth. Behind them, Romain Grosjean lost time with a big slide and was thus left seventh ahead of Webber’s Red Bull.