May 11th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Nico Rosberg has taken his second successive pole position, a quarter of a second faster than team-mate Lewis Hamilton. Mercedes dominated the final part of qualifying, appearing to have plenty of pace in hand over their rivals.
Q1 saw the elimination of both Williams drivers for the first time this season. Although Valtteri Bottas missed out on Q2 by just a few hundredths of a second, the poor Q1 result will be discouraging for the famous team.
Maldonado and Gutierrez could be facing grid penalties after they appeared to block Button and Raikkonen respectively during Q1. Bottas, Maldonado, Van der Garde, Bianchi, Chilton and Pic were eliminated in the first part of qualifying and will provisionally start 17th to 22nd.
Lewis Hamilton showed the pace of the Mercedes in Q2 by going six tenths faster than anyone else with a lap of 1:21.001. Clearly Mercedes have been running with pace in reserve all weekend, as neither Hamilton nor Rosberg troubled the front of the times in Free Practice.
McLaren seem to have found some pace on Sergio Perez's car. the Mexican made it through to Q2 quite comfortably, while Jenson Button struggled down in 14th place. The Toro Rosso pair of Ricciardo and Vergne just missed out Q3, finishing Q2 11th and 12th. The remaining cars eliminated in Q2 were Sutil, Button, Hulkenberg and Gutierrez.
Felipe Massa is under investigation for appearing to impede Mark Webber during Q2. The Brazilian is likely to receive a grid penalty, as the video footage looked quite clearly incriminating.
Q3 saw Rosbeg, Alonso, Massa, Grosjean and Raikkonen do two runs. Rosberg set a stunning benchmark of 1:20.824, four tenths clear of Alonso's first attempt. Rosberg's second run was even quicker, with a pole time of 1:20.718. Hamilton's only flying lap was good enough for second place, with Sebastian Vettel third. Kimi Raikkonen qualified fourth ahead of the Ferrari pair of Alonso and Massa who were separated by just one thousandth of a second. Grosjean, Webber, Perez and Di Resta completed the top ten.
Full results of qualifying:
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:22.158||1:21.602||1:21.054||12|
|8||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:22.342||1:21.718||1:21.570||12|
|10||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:22.663||1:22.019||1:22.233||17|
|13||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:22.952||1:22.346||12|
|19||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:24.661||6|
|Q1 107% Time||1:27.448|