FIRST 2015 VICTORY LOOMS: Nico Rosberg could be headed for his first F1 victory in 2015 as he grabbed pole position during qualifying for the 2015 Spanish GP. Image: AP / Manu Fernandez
BARCELONA, Spain - Nico Rosberg ended Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton's run of domination in qualifying sessions when he secured his first pole position of the 2015 season during qualifying for the 2015 Spanish GP.
Rosberg produced a fastest lap of 1min24.681 to outpace the defending champion by 0.3sec on a hot afternoon at the Circuit de Catalunya where Hamilton won from pole in 2014.
Rosberg's lap was quicker than Hamilton's 2014 pole time.
CUTTING HAMILTON'S LEAD
He said: "I needed it sooner rather than later. It is one step in the right direction to winning the race this weekend. It was a good day at the office."
Hamilton, who spun during final practice, saidhe simply lacked pace: "Nico did a great job... I don't know if I really have the balance (of the car) where I would like it but I did my best and I think tomorrow there is a lot to play for."
Rosberg now needs to convert his pole advantage into his first win since the 2014 Brazilian GP to reduce Hamilton's 27-point lead in the title race.
Four-times champion Sebastian Vettel was third-fastest for Ferrari ahead of Williams' Valtteri Bottas, new home hero Carlos Sainz and his teenage Toro Rosso team mate Max Verstappen.
Kimi Raikkonen was down in seventh for Ferrari ahead of Red Bull's Daniil Kvyat, Williams' Felipe Massa and Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo.
2015 Spanish GP results at the at Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya:
1 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min24.681
2 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes 1min24.948
3 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari 1min25.458
4 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams 1min25.694
5 Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso 1min26.136
6 Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Toro Rosso 1min26.249
7 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min26.414
8 Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Red Bull 1min26.629
9 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams 1min26.757
10 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull 1min26.770
11 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min27.375
12 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Lotus 1min27.450
13 Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren 1min27.760
14 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min27.854
15 Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber 1min28.005
16 Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber 1min28.112
17 Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min28.365
18 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India 1min28.442
19 Will Stevens (Britain) Marussia 1min31.200
20 Roberto Merhi (Spain) Marussia 1min32.038
1-10: Third and final qualifying session
11-15: Second qualifying session
16-20: First qualifying session
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