Nico Rosberg takes pole for Mercedes as McLaren falter at Chinese GP
Rosberg will be starting tomorrow's race from the front
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Pole position at the Malaysia GP has been taken by Lewis Hamilton.
Saturday, 14, Apr 2012 09:48
By Tom Witham
Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg took the first pole position of his career and his team will lock out the front row for tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix.
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton actually finished second in the qualifying session in Shanghai, but will start from seventh once a five-place grid penalty for changing his gearbox is applied.
That means Rosberg's team-mate Michael Schumacher, who was quick enough to take third, will be promoted to second. It is Mercedes' first pole position since they returned to the sport under the guidance of Ross Brawn.
Kamui Kobayashi, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button and Mark Webber finished fourth to seventh respectively but will all move up one slot as Hamilton is penalised for the mechanical change.
Arguably the biggest story of the day came further down the field, where Red Bull's double world champion Sebastian Vettel did not make it through to the final session of qualifying. He will start in 11th.
Ferrari continued their poor form in 2012 too, with Fernando Alonso struggling to ninth place and Felipe Massa alongside Vettel in 12th.