After claiming his tenth pole position of the season today in Brazil, Nico Rosberg has clinched the inaugural FIA Pole Trophy by establishing himself as the top qualifier in Formula 1 this year.
The German driver posted a fastest lap time of 1:10.023 to finish just 0.033 seconds clear of teammate and championship rival Lewis Hamilton at the end of Q3, securing his tenth pole position of the year.
With Hamilton having started on pole position just seven times, he cannot match Rosberg’s tally with just one race remaining in Abu Dhabi.
The FIA introduced the award in an attempt to offer the drivers more of an incentive towards the end of the season in light of Sebastian Vettel’s dominance in 2013. This has been offset somewhat by the close battle between Rosberg and Hamilton for the drivers’ championship, though.
Nevertheless, Rosberg is the first winner of the trophy, but he is now focusing on securing his first race win since the German Grand Prix in July on Sunday.
“A perfect job only if it works out tomorrow,” Rosberg said in the post-session press conference. “Up to now it has been going well. It’s the best place to be for tomorrow, but of course I need to make it happen in the race unlike Austin, for example.”
In Austin, Rosberg failed to win the race from pole position, losing the lead to Hamilton at the halfway point and failing to repass his teammate, ultimately being forced to settle for second place.
However, he said that he does not feel under pressure despite trailing Hamilton by 24 points at the top of the drivers’ championship.
“It’s pretty much similar,” Rosberg said when asked about the pressure. “The adrenaline is there, the tension, the excitement. It’s not been changing that much. I’m just here going for it, pushing myself to stay optimistic all the time.
“Naturally I am optimistic also, so learn from Austin. I know what I need to do better, so from that point of view I’m good to go for tomorrow.”