It was another dominant day for the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS during qualifying for the United States Grand Prix, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton once again locking out the front row of the grid.
Rosberg took his ninth pole position of the season at the Circuit of the Americas and thanked his engineers for giving him a great car in which to do it, and felt he was able to push harder than he had done during practice. He is hoping to translate his pole position into the race win so to close the gap in the championship to his team-mate that currently stands at seventeen points.
“That was really a great team effort today,” said Rosberg. “Starting from pole here in the US is obviously good – but it’s tomorrow that counts so there is still some way to go. Together with my engineers we found a great set-up, which made me feel very comfortable in the car at the end of Qualifying.
“At the beginning of Q1 I had a lot of understeer but we had different opportunities to explore in terms of changing that. We decided to change the front wing flap angle, which worked out perfectly, so I was really able to push a lot through the corners.
“Now I look forward to tomorrow as I had some good long runs on Friday which allowed me to focus a bit more on the race with my set-up.”
Team-mate Hamilton struggled with a braking issue during qualifying that he felt cost him the chance of taking his eighth pole position of the season. He admitted that the issue caused him to lose confidence under braking, but is hoping the issue can be sorted ahead of the race so he can fight for the win.
“It wasn’t the easiest of qualifying sessions for me today but I’m still starting from second place and we can have a good fight from there tomorrow,” said Hamilton. “The problem was with the left front brake which was down on temperature and kept locking. Once you lose that confidence and rhythm under braking, it’s very difficult. It is a potential issue for the race but I’ll talk to our guys now and we can have a good look at it.
“Hopefully we can try and sand down the disc a little and then tomorrow should be better. The vibration that I had was just a minor flat spot so I’m not worried about that.
“Nico did a great job this afternoon and at the end I couldn’t get close to him so I’ll have to try and make it up tomorrow in the race.”