Nico Rosberg has made no secret of his frustration after falling just 0.007 seconds short of pole position during qualifying for the Singapore Grand Prix today.
The German driver posted a fastest lap time 1:45.688 to secure provisional pole with his final lap in Q3, only for teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton to go seven-thousandths of a second faster to secure his sixth pole position of the season at Marina Bay.
Upon learning that he was P2, Rosberg shouted “dammit!” over the radio back to his engineer, and summed up his feelings in the post-session press conference on Saturday.
“Yeah, because seven-thousandths, when I think back on the lap, seven-thousandths is nothing you know!” he said. “A little bit here or there, I’m like ‘come on, I could have done it!’
“But that’s the way it is, and Lewis did a good job to get pole, so fair play and second place is okay. Obviously first would be better, but still it’s a long race ahead, and that’s fine.”
Rosberg struggled for most of the qualifying session in Singapore, and only managed to find his feet in the final part of Q2 and in Q3 after a number of setup changes on his Mercedes car following practice on Saturday evening.
“We changed brakes going into qualifying, and I got into rhythm with the other brakes, so that was a challenge,” he explained. “We expected it to be, so it took me some time to get into qualifying and the balance was also very different because the track had cooled down relative to the session before qualifying when it was hotter, there was a lot more understeer now and the rear, we had a lot more grip so we had to completely adapt the settings and it took me some time to get into qualifying.
“So that’s why I’m pleased that in the end I was able to push flat out and get a good lap time.”
Rosberg will be gunning to secure his first race win since the German Grand Prix tomorrow, but the winner of the Singapore Grand Prix has won from pole position on four out of six occasions, suggesting that it will be an uphill struggle for the championship leader.
So what does 0.007 seconds look like in real terms?
— MERCEDES AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) September 20, 2014
If it’s that close on Sunday, we’re in for a thriller of a grand prix.
You can watch the Singapore Grand Prix live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7.30am ET tomorrow.