Season starts in China – Rosberg

Nico Rosberg is keen to forget the first two races of the season as he targets a podium place in Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after qualifying in pole position for the first time in his career (Rosberg 7/2 – Race Winner).

The Mercedes driver has failed to pick up a point so far this year but stole the headlines at the Shanghai International Circuit with a pulsating lap to finish half a second ahead of Lewis Hamilton.

Hamilton was the second fastest qualifier but due to a gearbox change will start from seventh on the grid following a five-place penalty.

The punishment for the British driver means Rosberg’s Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher will start on the front of the grid having maintained the pace which saw him dominate Friday’s second practice session.

The all-Mercedes front row is the first since it has happened since 1955 and Rosberg is hoping the season starts here for his team as they look to improve on the one point they have gathered from the first two races.

“I’ve not had a good start,” said the German driver.

“It’s pretty clear that in the race we’ve not been as good as in qualifying, and we’ve worked hard to improve that, but it’s not something you change in a few weeks.

“It’s going to take some time, but we’re making progress, and it’s difficult to know where we’re going to be in the race.”

The battle for the chequered flag is likely to come down to Mercedes, McLaren and Sauber, with Kamui Kobayashi finishing a surprising third in qualifying for Sauber.

Lotus’ Kimi Raikkonen (10/1 – Race Winner) will start from fourth on the grid, with McLaren’s Jenson Button (5/1) fifth and Mark Webber (16/1) of Red Bull sixth.

The biggest shock of the day came when reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel failed to make it into the top 10, the Red Bull driver securing 11th place on the grid.

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