Nico Rosberg secured his third career pole position as Mercedes completed a hat-trick of qualifying successes — and then warned that he is worried his tyres will let him down in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The 27-year-old German led the way as his team locked out the front row of Saturday's grid but he was immediately concerned afterwards that he does not endure a repeat of his problems at last month's Bahrain Grand Prix where he limped home ninth. "I had a really good lap at the end and it is great motivation for the team but we have to be cautious because of what happened in Bahrain," he warned. "Everybody's been working hard back in the factory. We will face different issues with the tyres than we did in Bahrain, but it will still be a big challenge with the tyres tomorrow."
Rosberg clocked a dazzling best lap time of one minute and 20.718 seconds to outpace his nearest rival and Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton by two-tenths of a second. Sebastian Vettel gave his best for Red Bull to qualify third ahead of Kimi Raikkonen for Lotus, local hero and two-time champion Fernando Alonso and his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa. Vettel said: "I was pretty pleased with the last sector because in the past it has been poor for me. It will be an interesting race and will be all about the tyre degradation.
Romain Grosjean was seventh in the second Lotus ahead of Mark Webber, Sergio Perez in the leading McLaren and Paul di Resta of Force India.