Rosberg tops qualifying at Bahrain F1 GPApril 24th, 2009 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS
Sakhir (Bahrain), April 24 (DPA) Nico Rosberg returned to the top of the timesheets Friday when he dominated practice for the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix in a Williams.
The big three of McLaren-Mercedes, Ferrari and BMW Sauber, by contrast, trailed with five of their six drivers at the rear of the field placed 16th to 20th after world champion Lewis Hamilton had led the morning session for McLaren.
Rosberg posted 1 minute 33.339 for the 5.412-kilometres lap on the Bahrain International Circuit.
The German topped several training sessions at the previous races in Australia, Malaysia and China, and extensive pre-season testing in Bahrain seemingly also paid off.
“We have a good car and can play a strong role in the race,” said Rosberg.
Former champion Fernando Alonso was second in a Renault in 1:33.530 and Jarno Trulli was third in a Toyota in 1:33.616 minutes.
Sunday’s China GP winner Sebastian Vettel of Germany was fourth in a Red Bull and British season leader Jenson Button sixth for Brawn GP.
Button leads the championship from two wins and one third place with 21 points from Brazilian team-mate Rubens Barrichello (15). Vettel and compatriot Timo Glock (Toyota) have 10 points each.
Brawn, Toyota and Williams use a double diffuser which was declared legal by the ruling body FIA and seemingly still gives them an advantage although Renault and Red Bull are competitive as well.
But the top teams are yet to catch up in a difficult season for them.
Hamilton was their best in 11th place in 1:33.994 a few hours after leading the morning session in 1:33.647 from the BMW duo of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica.
The 2007 and 2008 Bahrain winner Felipe Massa was 16th in a Ferrari after coming eighth in the morning, Kubica 17th, Kimi Raikkonen 18th in the other Ferrari, Heikki Kovalainen 19th in the second McLaren and Heidfeld last in 20th place.
But for Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug the result wasn’t all doom and gloom. Haug said his cars carried a lot of fuel and he set high hopes in the power-boosting KERS system which only McLaren-Mercedes have used in every race this season.
“It doesn’t look that bad. We need a good qualifying and reliability. The KERS is important here, we are the only ones who have used it in every race,” said Haug.
McLaren have just eight points from the first three races, BMW are on four and Ferrari have zero from the first three races.
A third practice session and qualifying are scheduled for Saturday and the 57-lap race Sunday.
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- Untouchable Vettel wins Indian GP - Oct 30, 2011
- Raikkonen wins Belgium GP, Force India get first points - Aug 30, 2009
- Sensational pole for Force India's Fisichella in Spa - Aug 29, 2009
- New venues invariably slotted at end - Oct 25, 2011
- Red Bull's Vettel takes pole for Chinese Grand Prix - Apr 16, 2011
- Vettel takes pole, di Resta 10th in Bahrain - Apr 21, 2012
- Alonso leads home Ferrari 1-2 at Hockenheim - Jul 25, 2010
- Hamilton wins Chinese Grand Prix to end Vettel's winning streak - Apr 17, 2011
- Force India's Fisichella makes history, Raikkonen wins - Aug 30, 2009
- Button wins classy Australian GP as Vettel is stopped again - Mar 28, 2010
- Rosberg sets pace in second practice at Bahrain GP - Apr 20, 2012
- Red Bull's Webber claims Turkish GP pole - May 29, 2010
- Ferrari rebound to top at Sepang F1 practice - Apr 03, 2009
- Vettel wins a near perfect race, Sutil finishes ninth (Roundup) - Oct 30, 2011
Tags: bahrain international circuit, bmw sauber, body fia, brazilian team, difficult season, doom and gloom, f1 gp, felipe massa, fernando alonso, formula one grand prix, gp winner, jarno trulli, kimi raikkonen, mclaren mercedes, mercedes motorsport, nick heidfeld, nico rosberg, rubens barrichello, sakhir bahrain, sebastian vettel