Formula 1 News

Hamilton salutes old friend Rosberg

The Brit clocked second best time, but drops down to seventh on the grid because of a penalty for changing gearbox.
Saturday, April 14, 2012

Shanghai, April 14, 2012 (AFP) - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton paid tribute to his close friend Nico Rosberg on Saturday after the Mercedes driver stormed to a career-first pole position for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.

Rosberg secured his maiden pole in comprehensive style, more than half a second ahead of next-placed Hamilton, who drops down to seventh on the grid because of a penalty for changing gearbox.

The Briton, who was on pole for the first two grands prix of the season, reflected on not "such a bad lap" for himself, but appeared more happy for his German rival.

"Big congratulations to Nico, it's fantastic and really done in style. It's quite a big gap between us," said the 2008 world champion.

"I'm very proud of him and obviously we grew up racing together and always dreamed of being in Formula One together and now we're on the front row together. Obviously I've got a penalty but still, it's a good day."

Warming to the theme, Hamilton added: "It's fantastic to see him up there and for us to qualify on the front row, for me, is a quite a cool feeling because we were team-mates back in 2000 and good friends from way before that."

Hamilton, whose two pole positions in Australia and Malaysia were soured by disappointing third-place finishes at both, said trying to catch the

"massively quick" Mercedes on Sunday was a stiff challenge. I have a lot of work ahead of me. Just moving forward is what I'll be aiming for and obviously to finish the race. Then we'll just see what happens from there," he said.

"You know anything can happen here with the weather. These guys are going to be massively quick, so I wish them all the best, but I just hope me and Jenson (Button) can make our way forward and score some valuable points."

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F1 Standings

Drivers
Teams
1 Nico Rosberg 25
2 Kevin Magnussen 18
3 Jenson Button 15
4 Fernando Alonso 12
5 Valtteri Bottas 10
6 Nico Hülkenberg 8
1 McLaren 33
2 Mercedes 25
3 Ferrari 18
4 Williams F1 10
5 Sahara Force India 9
6 Scuderia Toro Rosso 6

View complete standings table »

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Last F1 Race

Australian Grand Prix
Melbourne, Albert Park Lake
1
Nico Rosberg
Mercedes
2
Kevin Magnussen
McLaren
3
Jenson Button
McLaren
Fastest Lap

Nico Rosberg
1'32.478s

Pole Position

Lewis Hamilton

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