Nico Rosberg takes pole position ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel as home favourite Sergio Perez is 9th.
Nico Rosberg was fastest in the final practise and qualifying is set to be close. McLaren – Honda’s Jenson Button, does not get out for Q1 and will start at the back.
Q1 sees both Manor cars of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi, the other McLaren – Honda of Fernando Alonso and the Sauber of Felipe Nasr eliminated. Rosberg is the quickest of the session on a 1:20:436. The top 13 cars is covered by one second.
Q2 sees Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen spinning half way through the session at turn 1 and not completing the session due to a brake problem. The other Sauber of Marcus Ericsson, both Lotus cars of Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean and the Torro Rosso of Carlos Sainz Jr are eliminated. This time Hamilton is quickest on a 1:19:829. The top 8 cars is covered by one second.
The first laps in Q3 shows that Rosberg is quickest ahead of Hamilton and Vettel. Both Force India cars wait till the final runs to their times but no one can go quicker and they line-up 9th and 10th. Rosberg is on pole for the 4th time in a row ahead of Hamilton and Vettel.
1.Rosberg 2.Hamilton 3.Vettel 4.Kvyat 5.Ricciardo 6.Bottas 7.Massa 8.Verstappen 9.Perez 10.Hulkenberg 11.Sainz 12.Grosjean 13.Maldonado 14.Ericsson 15.Nasr 16.Rossi 17.Stevens 18.Alonso* 19.Raikkonen* 20.Button*
Alonso* has a 20 place grid penalty for engine and gearbox changes, 16th – 18th.
Raikkonen* drops 35 places for gearbox and engine change, 15th – 19th.
Button* did not participate in Q1 and has engine penalty’s up to 70 places.
Tomorrows race will be interesting to see how strategy plans out as it seems that teams would only be doing a 1 stop strategy. Can Nico Rosberg hold onto the win and keep Lewis Hamilton behind him? Amazed at the crowds enthusiasm to cheer on home favourite, Sergio Perez!
Haas F1 confirmed today that Esteban Gutierrez is to take the second seat next year along-side Romain Grosjean. Haas is currently on track to enter F1 in 2016.