Nico Rosberg is delighted to have claimed pole position for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix, but is readying himself for a race-long battle with teammate Lewis Hamilton, who will start in second place.
Rosberg’s run to pole position on Saturday afternoon came as something of a surprise. Throughout practice, Hamilton had the edge on his teammate, and the Briton’s record around the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is phenomenal with three poles and three wins. However, when it mattered, Rosberg managed to edge out his teammate by just 0.079 seconds to secure his third pole position of the season.
“It’s been a great weekend so far and I’m really pleased with how I have been able to improve my set-up from session to session,” the German driver explained. “Even before qualifying we made some quite big changes and they worked out perfectly. So I am very happy with starting from pole tomorrow.”
Rosberg believes that – just as we saw in Monaco – starting from pole position could be key due to the lack of overtaking opportunities in the first two sectors of the track. The final sector is all about straight line speed, so the two Mercedes drivers will be equal.
“That was very important as there aren’t many opportunities to overtake here, particularly if you are in the same car,” Rosberg said. “I think it will be a battle between the two of us out there tomorrow as the gap to the other cars was quite big in qualifying today and also on our long runs on Friday were strong.”
During the race simulation runs during FP2 on Friday, Mercedes was dominant once again ahead of Red Bull, Ferrari and Williams, and as a result Rosberg and Hamilton should be poised to claim another one-two finish this weekend.
Although the tension in the fight between the two Mercedes drivers has apparently cooled, it will be interesting to see just how they fare during the race tomorrow when starting alongside each other on the front row.