Nico Rosberg described himself as the ‘happiest man’ today after taking a decisive pole position for tomorrow’s Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
The result also marked Mercedes first works pole position since 1955 and, with Michael Schumacher starting tomorrow’s race from second, the team have also locked-out the front row.
“It’s a very special day for me because this is my first pole in Formula One, and the first for a Silver Arrow since 1955,” said Rosberg. “Firstly it was a strange feeling because I was watching the end of Q3 from the FIA garage as we decided to save a set of option tyres for the race, and I couldn’t do anything but watch!
“Seeing that I finished at the top of the timesheets and with half a second in hand made me the happiest man today. Thanks to the team, everyone here and in the factories, who have done a great job to develop and improve our Silver Arrow.
“We don’t know what will happen in the race tomorrow, and it will be a challenge to stay in front, but for the moment, I will enjoy starting next to Michael from the front row which is also very special to me.”
Schumacher actually qualified third, but takes advantage of a penalty to second-placed man Hamilton to join his team-mate on the front row for the start of tomorrow’s race. The seven-time world champion was also in a celebratory mood after qualifying, and delighted for Rosberg.
“This really is a special day for our Mercedes-Benz team, having two Silver Arrows starting from the front row of the Chinese Grand Prix,” said Schumacher. “It’s a great result, and I am very happy for everybody.
“Congratulations to Nico, he achieved his first pole position with a just fabulous lap. I can easily respect he did the better job today, and I am happy for him.
“I am equally happy for Norbert, Ross and all the guys here at the track and in Brackley and Brixworth, who had to wait quite some time and have been so patient. We can only compliment their hard work.
“A big thank you to Daimler for always supporting us; we are doing all we can to bring the Mercedes-Benz name to the front, where it belongs.
“As for me, I am happy too, and obviously my ambition for the race is to stay where we are now. But tomorrow is another story, even if in terms of set-up we have prepared the car mainly for the race. We will definitely try and show a good performance, and I am looking forward to it.”
Mercedes have been strong in qualifying so far this season, but only have a single point to show from the first two races. However, team prinicpal Ross Brawn has said that they have been focusing on race pace in the weeks building up to this grand prix.
“It was an exceptional qualifying session for us and I am very pleased with the way the whole team worked to achieve it,” he said. “Congratulations to both drivers, but especially Nico on a stunning lap which earned him his first pole position.
“It is a great boost for everyone, and gives lots of encouragement to the team here at the track, in Brackley and Brixworth. We hope it will prove to be a step on the way to achieving our ambitions; however, we know it is only a small step and that what really counts is the race. That’s what we have been working on, to start delivering similar levels of performance on Sunday afternoon.”