Nico Rosberg admitted that he felt “gutted” to have missed out on pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday after making a mistake on his final qualifying lap.
Rosberg had enjoyed the edge on Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for the majority of the race weekend, but was two-tenths of a second down ahead of their final runs in qualifying.
Hamilton appeared to have blown his chance to start on pole when he spun off at turn two on his final flying lap, and with Rosberg 0.082 seconds up on the Briton heading into the final sector, P1 appeared to be his for the taking.
However, Rosberg ran slightly wide at turn eight before losing the back-end of his car at the final corner, causing him to go straight on and into the gravel trap.
Rosberg was clearly disappointed, slapping his hands together upon getting out of the car, and admitted after the session that he felt pole had been possible.
“I went on the astroturf at the second to last corner,” Rosberg said. “Maybe that was still a bit wet or something, or I just overdid it after that, I’m not so sure, just lost it there at the last corner.
“Definitely gutted. Lewis was two-tenths quicker than my lap time, and I was exactly two-tenths up up to that point, so I knew I had to go for it because it was very, very close. I just overdid it.”
Rosberg explained how the nature of the Red Bull Ring meant that mistakes were easy to make, particularly when pushing hard to try and get the maximum lap time.
“This track generally is quite difficult, because you’ve got to get the braking right and you’ve got to attack to get a lap time around here,” Rosberg said. “It’s a very challenging track and easy to make mistakes.”
The Austrian Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 7:30am ET on Sunday.