Rosberg puts Mercedes on pole again in Bahrain

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Bahrain International Circuit, 2013Nico Rosberg gave Mercedes their second pole position in a row in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

He will share the front row of the grid with Sebastian Vettel.


Most of the front-running teams opted for hard tyres in Q1 with the significant exception of Red Bull. But even using the medium tyres Vettel wasn’t quick enough to beat Alonso.

The Ferrari driver’s 1’32.878 was almost half a second faster than anyone else managed. Vettel took second ahead of six more drivers on hard tyres, led by Nico Rosberg.

Romain Grosjean was fourth-fastest while team mate Kimi Raikkonen went off at the first corner.

Daniel Ricciardo was in the drop zone with seconds remaining but produced a quicker lap to jump up to 12th. That knocked Pastor Maldonado out – the Williams driver had set the same time as his team mate to within a thousandth of a second, but Valtteri Bottas did his first so stayed ahead to progress to Q2.

Also eliminated were Esteban Gutierrez, who will start last after his penalty, and the Caterham and Marussia pair.

Drivers eliminated in Q1

17 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’34.425
18 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’34.730
19 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’35.283
20 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’36.178
21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’36.304
22 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’36.476


Four drivers set quick enough times with their first run to ensure passage to Q2. They included the two Mercedes drivers, with Rosberg decisively quickest, and Alonso.

The fourth was Paul di Resta, who demonstrated Force India’s pace by getting through to Q3. He was later joined by his team mate.

Grosjean attempted to get through to Q3 with a single late effort but a mistake at turn 11 left him vulnerable and a delighted Jenson Button took advantage to get into Q3.

The other McLaren of Sergio Perez failed to get through, as did the two Toro Rossos and the remaining Sauber and Williams of Nico Hulkenberg and Bottas.

Drivers eliminated in Q2

11 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’33.762
12 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’33.914
13 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’33.974
14 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’33.976
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’34.105
16 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’34.284


Rosberg replicated his earlier pace at the beginning of Q3 and led the times again, with Alonso a tenth of a second behind him. Hamilton took up third with Di Resta behind.

All ten drivers returned to the track for a final run and all set a time bar Button: with Webber and Hamilton setting times good enough for the top five, and the McLaren unlikely to beat Raikkonen’s Lotus, he elected not to set a time.

Alonso also aborted his last run as he wasn’t on course to improve. Vettel had beaten his time but neither of them could do anything about Rosberg, who made a further improvement on his time to secure Mercedes’ second pole position in a row.

Massa was the only driver to choose the hard tyres for his qualifying run and took sixth, though Webber and Hamilton’s penalties will promote him to fourth alongside his team mate.

Top ten in Q3

1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’32.330
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’32.584
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’32.667
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’32.762
5 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’33.078
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’33.207
7 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’33.235
8 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’33.246
9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’33.327
10 Jenson Button McLaren

2013 Bahrain Grand Prix

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70 comments on Rosberg puts Mercedes on pole again in Bahrain

  1. Marciare_o_Marcire (@marciare-o-marcire) said on 20th April 2013, 14:30

    Alonso will be P1 before the first corner: he’s starting on the clean side and he rarely messes up on starts. He will also be among the last of the front-runners to pit (apart from Massa who’s starting on hard tyres). All this means it will probably be a boring Alonso parade with little meaningful lead changes. And I don’t have a problem with that at all.

    • I Love the Pope said on 20th April 2013, 15:40

      Having not seen his championships, the Alonso fandom thing is a mystery to me. He’s always been not quite good enough in the era that I’ve watched.

  2. Eddie (@wackyracer) said on 20th April 2013, 14:46

    Can’t wait for Lewis to nail catalunya :-D

  3. Jonny C (@loomx92) said on 20th April 2013, 15:06

    I just had a look through all the predictions to see how many people voted Rosberg for pole… There were 4! Going to be interesting to see what the top scores are for the weekend.

  4. Swindle94 (@swindle94) said on 20th April 2013, 15:51

    Anybody think lotus went less aggressive on kimi’s setup to try a two stopper? They were surprised how long he was able to run yesterday

    • HoHum (@hohum) said on 20th April 2013, 17:39

      I think you have nailed it, a lot of cars seem to have compromised set-ups, it can only be for tyre strategy, whereas the F Indias get to look good but will probably suffer high “deg.”

  5. For me Ferrari and Force India are the teams to watch tomorrow. Ferrari’s pace on the hard compound is downright scary and Massa has found himself in a brilliant position there on the second row and starting on primes, while Force India looks to have found the best compromise in order to be rather-quick and consistent on both compounds and are also taking full advantage of the third row at the start.

    Call me crazy but I wouldn’t rule out a Ferrari 1-2 tomorrow with one of the Force India guys in for a podium finish (if Vettel hits trouble of sorts again).

  6. Ginola14 (@ginola14) said on 20th April 2013, 16:22

    Button’s celebratory note over the radio to his crew for scraping into Q3 shows how low standards have fallen at McLaren since Lewis left.

  7. tmax (@tmax) said on 20th April 2013, 16:42

    Alonso and Massa had great Race Starts All through Last year and this year. I would’nt be surprised if they are leading 1, 2 by the first corner. I even feel that Massa might Lead into the first corner instead of Alonso. Vettel has to really improvise his start to get ahead if he has to have any chance of winning. Eitherway whoever gets the first corner has the best chance of Victory. Although if it is Massa it will be handed over to Alonso.

    My Bet …. The Race is all set for a Procession tomorrow !!!

  8. Bruno (@brunes) said on 21st April 2013, 2:37

    A lot of people compare the current F1 to Chess.
    I think it’s more of a black jack – You have some strategy, but it all depends on luck and teams must go with what they get in the race. We can’t really predict whats coming, but can try to play with what is being given to us.

  9. lubhz (@lubhz) said on 21st April 2013, 3:03

    That’s one of the rare occasions Felipe try something different. In fact I don’t remember he qualifying on hards or something like that.

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