Nico Rosberg said Saturday that he was spurred to beating Lewis Hamilton to pole position for the Spanish Grand Prix by memories of his own poor qualifying performance at the Bahrain Grand Prix three weeks earlier.

“Bahrain was still on my mind,” said Rosberg, after out-pacing his Mercedes team-mate and defending world champion Hamilton for the first time in five attempts this year.

“I wanted to make sure I didn’t make that mistake again so I got myself in the rhythm in Q2 and it worked very well for me today.”

Rosberg was at his best after a desultory run of results as he wrecked Hamilton’s hopes of securing pole for the fifth time in a row for the first time in his career.

The 29-year-old German, who trails Hamilton by 27 points in the drivers’ title race, described his success as “a good day in the office” and rejected all suggestions that he was psychologically in need of such a boost in his bid to mount a serious challenge to Hamilton for the title.

“It is just important for tomorrow’s race,” said Rosberg. “It’s better to start first than second. That’s obvious. It’s good, it’s great, I feel happy, so it’s good for tomorrow.

“And there will be no different mindset for the race. It’s the same thing I try to go for it, go for the best possible result.

“With the car I have, it will be to try and go for the win and take the advantage of starting first.”

Rosberg took full advantage of Hamilton’s struggles to find a perfect balance with his car to outpace him by three-tenths of a second.


Results from Saturday qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix:

Qualifying N.3

1. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1:24.681, 2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1:24.948, 3. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari 1:25.458, 4. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams-Mercedes 1:25.694, 5. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:26.136, 6. Max Verstappen (NED) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:26.249, 7. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1:26.414, 8. Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull-Renault 1:26.629, 9. Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams-Mercedes 1:26.757, 10. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull-Renault 1:26.770


Qualifying N.2

1. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1:25.166 (Q), 2. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1:25.740 (Q), 3. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1:26.016 (Q), 4. Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams-Mercedes 1:26.147 (Q), 5. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari 1:26.167 (Q), 6. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams-Mercedes 1:26.197 (Q), 7. Max Verstappen (NED) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:26.441 (Q), 8. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:26.475 (Q), 9. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull-Renault 1:26.692 (Q), 10. Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull-Renault 1:26.889 (Q), 11. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus-Mercedes 1:27.375, 12. Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus-Mercedes 1:27.450, 13. Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren-Honda 1:27.760, 14. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren-Honda 1:27.854, 15. Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.005


Qualifying N.1

1. Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes 1:26.382 (Q), 2. Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes 1:26.490 (Q), 3. Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Ferrari 1:26.637 (Q), 4. Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:26.773 (Q), 5. Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams-Mercedes 1:27.165 (Q), 6. Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams-Mercedes 1:27.262 (Q), 7. Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus-Mercedes 1:27.281 (Q), 8. Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus-Mercedes 1:27.383 (Q), 9. Max Verstappen (NED) Toro Rosso-Renault 1:27.393 (Q), 10. Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari 1:27.534 (Q), 11. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull-Renault 1:27.611 (Q), 12. Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber-Ferrari 1:27.625 (Q), 13. Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren-Honda 1:27.813 (Q), 14. Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull-Renault 1:27.833 (Q), 15. Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren-Honda 1:27.941 (Q), 16. Marcus Ericsson (SWE) Sauber-Ferrari 1:28.112 (Q), 17. Nico HĂĽlkenberg (GER) Force India-Mercedes 1:28.365, 18. Sergio Perez (MEX) Force India-Mercedes 1:28.442, 19. Will Stevens (GBR) Marussia-Ferrari 1:31.200, 20. Roberto Merhi (ESP) Marussia-Ferrari 1:32.038

 Agence France-Presse

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