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China, Saturday – Norbert: “What a fantastic lap from Nico”

China, Saturday – Norbert: “What a fantastic lap from Nico”

The MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS team locked out the front row of the grid for the Chinese Grand Prix at the Shanghai International Circuit today with Nico Rosberg putting the F1 W03 on pole position, and Michael Schumacher qualifying in third place, although he will start the race from second position.

Nico scored his maiden Formula One pole position this afternoon, with an advantage of over half a second. Michael qualified third and will start tomorrow's race from second place following a grid penalty for Lewis Hamilton.

This is the ninth Formula One pole position for a works Silver Arrow and the 85th for Mercedes-Benz in Formula One. A works Silver Arrow last started from pole at the 1955 Italian Grand Prix, with Juan Manuel Fangio at the wheel.

For Ross, “It was an exceptional qualifying session for us and I am very pleased with the way the whole team worked to achieve it. Congratulations to both drivers, but especially Nico on a stunning lap which earned him his first pole position.

It is a great boost for everyone, and gives lots of encouragement to the team here at the track, in Brackley and Brixworth. We hope it will prove to be a step on the way to achieving our ambitions; however, we know it is only a small step and that what really counts is the race.

That's what we have been working on, to start delivering similar levels of performance on Sunday afternoon.”

“What a fantastic lap from Nico for pole position” said Norbert, “in his single attempt in Q3, he was half a second quicker than anybody else, which speaks both for him and the team.

A big thank you to everybody from MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS for a great job and for all the relentless work that they are putting in to continuously improve our performance. The three fastest cars today are powered by the Mercedes V8 so well done to all our guys in Brixworth at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains.

Michael missed P2 today by less than a tenth of a second, but as Lewis will have a grid penalty, Michael will start next to Nico on the front row tomorrow. A Silver Arrows front row last happened at Monza in 1955; now, after two years in the modern era of the Silver Arrows works team, we have achieved our first one-two on the grid.

Although we are in the best possible positions today, we certainly do not think that we are already winners tomorrow. So far, our long runs on high fuel and our tyre usage didn’t look bad according to Pirelli, so we all will do our best for tomorrow. Hats off to Nico again - this was a great lap, my friend, which you will remember for a very long time.”

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