Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg is optimistic despite failing to qualify on the front row of the grid for tomorrow’s Malaysian Grand Prix, with the wet conditions making a quick lap difficult for the German driver.
Having dominated practice alongside teammate Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg appeared to be embroiled in an inter-team battle for pole position on Saturday. However, a heavy rain shower – so heavy that qualifying had to be delayed – meant that the track was wet on Saturday afternoon, scuppering Rosberg’s hopes of securing his first pole position of the season.
Eventually, he had to settle for third place after putting in a last-gasp lap to push Fernando Alonso out of the top three.
“I didn’t feel very comfortable on the extreme wet tyres at the end of Q3, especially on the brakes, but I was still able to improve enough to claim third from Fernando which was the positive for me,” Rosberg explained. “We’ve definitely improved the way we manage the sessions since Australia, so I was the last car to cross the line, but unfortunately the track didn’t really improve.”
Despite not starting on the front row, Rosberg is hoping for a repeat of his win in Australia two weeks ago which came from third place on the grid.
“It will definitely be a difficult and eventful race as the weather is predicted to be the same again, but that will give me opportunities to gain some positions,” he said. “I’m looking forward to the race and I want to get the best out of it, like we did in Melbourne.”
Pole position went to Rosberg’s teammate, Lewis Hamilton, whilst Sebastian Vettel secured his first front-row start of the season for Red Bull.