Nico Rosberg took his first pole position of the season at the 2016 Chinese Grand Prix, and is in good spirits ahead of Sunday’s race, knowing he has a great opportunity to lead from the off and control the race.
The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver was in dominant form during the session, and although he was disappointed not to have team-mate Lewis Hamilton fighting with him for pole at the Shanghai International Circuit.
“It’s great to have my first pole of the year It’s always best to be able to start your race from the front and I’m very happy to have that opportunity again,” said Rosberg.
“Of course, it’s not good that Lewis’ car broke down and a shame that we couldn’t battle for pole. We definitely need to investigate this as a team but, in any case, I’m sure he will fight his way through the field tomorrow.
“I made a few mistakes on my first effort in Q3 but my final lap was pretty good. Saying that, Kimi said he made a mistake on his last lap, so with that in consideration I don’t believe the gap is as big as it seemed on the timesheet today.
“On Friday the Ferraris were on the same level as us, so we must be prepared for a strong challenge from the red cars. In the race we could see some surprises. There will be a lot of different strategies, so there’s a long way to go yet. But I’m feeling good in the car and looking forward to a battle.”
Despite his coyness, the German will know that he has a strong chance of taking victory on Sunday, after making a shrewd decision to run in Q2 on the soft tyre, which he will now be able to start the race on, as opposed to his main rivals, in particular the Ferrari‘s, who will be starting on the super soft.
With team-mate Lewis Hamilton starting from the back of the grid, due to technical issues in qualifying, it will make things a lot simpler for the German on Sunday. Upper hand Rosberg and Mercedes? It is certainly going to be an interesting race!