Nico Rosberg led a Mercedes front row for tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona. The German produced a scintillating lap in Q3 to top the time charts initially and then bettered it with another supreme lap leaving the others in his wake. His time was not bested at all during Q3 and the only driver who ended up .254 seconds away was his team mate, Lewis Hamilton who line up behind his team mate on the front row. Reigning world champion and the current leader in the driver’s championship, Sebastian Vettel will line up 3rd followed by his nearest rival, Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus in 4th.
The scarlet Ferraris led by local hero Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will line up 5th and 6th respectively. Massa was on course for potential pole storming through the first and second sectors in his final run. However, he lost time in the third sector and lines up behind his team mate.
Massa is under investigation by the stewards for allegedly blocking Mark Webber who will start from 8th alongside Lotus’ Romain Grosjean in 7th. Sergio Perez produced another brilliant Q3 lap to qualify 9th in the Mclaren while his team mate Jenson Button struggled for grip and ended up 14th on the grid. It was another woeful day for McLaren as they struggled to match the top teams’ pace – a shadow of their former selves as they failed to get their updates to work.
Force India’s Paul Di Resta brings up the top 10 out qualifying his team mate Adrian Sutil who starts 13th on the grid. The Torro Rossos of Daniel Riccardio and Jean Eric Vergne were strong today, however, they were shunted down the order and did not make it into the final qualifying session. Last year’s winners Williams , continued their disastrous year by not qualifying both cars in Q2 for the first time since 2009. 2012 winner Pastor Maldonado could only qualify 18th while his team mate Valtteri Bottas starts alongside him in 17th.
The back of the grid was, as as is mostly the case a fierce battle between Marussia and Caterham with Giedo Van der Garde of Caterham besting Jules Bianchi in the Marussia. Max Chilton and Charles Pic qualified 21st and 22nd to bring up the rear of the grid for tomorrow’s race.
With the Mercedes cars expected to be harder on their tyres, it is expected that the Red Bulls and Ferraris will get past them tomorrow in the race. Ferrari especially have made massive progress in the past three weeks and it is going to be a three way tussle between Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen tomorrow. It will all boil down to strategy and tyre conservation which is going to tomorrow’s Spanish Grand Prix, a treat to watch. Stay tuned!