Nico Rosberg: “Tomorrow is when it really counts”

Nico Rosberg admitted his Mercedes AMG PETRONAS team-mate Lewis Hamilton did the better job during qualifying for the Spanish Grand Prix on Saturday, but will start alongside the reigning World Champion on the front row of the grid.

The German lost out on pole position to Hamilton by 0.280s, but hopes there will be an opportunity during Sunday’s race to get ahead of his team-mate and secure what would be his fifth win from five races in 2016 and his eighth victory in as many Formula 1 races.

Rosberg also believes the team may come under pressure from Red Bull Racing duo Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, who surprised the Mercedes driver by out-qualifying the two Scuderia Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel.

“Lewis did the better job today but tomorrow is when it really counts,” reflected Rosberg. “There is a big opportunity for me at the beginning: I had some good starts this year and Lewis hasn’t led into the first corner this season so far.

“Maybe in the race there will be an opportunity. Tyre usage will also play a factor and the right strategy will be crucial. So I’m expecting a pretty interesting race and I’m looking forward to the battle.

“We need to keep eye on Red Bull as well, as they are surprisingly stronger than Ferrari here.”