For the first time since the 1950s, the front row of a grid has been locked out by a Mercedes works team.
Nico Rosberg scored a dominant pole in Shanghai, and because Lewis Hamilton’s second-placed McLaren must move back five places, the sister W03 of Michael Schumacher will race teammate Rosberg to the first corner on Sunday.
“I feel sorry for Lewis but it’s good for us,” smiled Schumacher.
The Brackley based team, however, is not getting carried away, after the ‘double-DRS’-assisted car fell away in the races in Australia and Malaysia, collecting just a single point for the German squad. Team boss Ross Brawn spoke therefore of caution, with Schumacher agreeing: “There’s certainly a question mark over whether we can keep our positions from qualifying but we’ll try our best.”
Meanwhile, it is the first time a Rosberg has been on pole since the 26-year-old’s Finnish father Keke started from the front of the grid in the 80s.
“It was an exceptional lap from Nico — he’s not had a great first couple of races,” Brawn told the BBC. “We saw today what he can do.”