Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull takes pole position with a breathtaking lap of one minute 34.870 seconds. McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton will start second on the grid alongside the world champion, with Mark Webber third for Red Bull.
But as in Melbourne, it is the same one-two-three line-up with Vettel ahead of Hamilton, then his own team-mate in Mark Webber, with Jenson Button fourth in his McLaren.
Spaniard Fernando Alonso qualified fifth for Ferrari ahead of German Nick Heidfeld, who was sixth for Renault. Brazilian Felipe Massa, in the second Ferrari, was seventh and Russian Vitaly Petrov was eighth for Renault.
It proved to be a dramatic end to the middle 15-minute qualifying stint because, with the clock beyond zero, on his final flying lap Rosberg dumped team-mate Michael Schumacher out of Q3. For the second successive race the seven-times champion will start from 11th on the grid, finishing almost 0.7secs adrift of his fellow German.