Rosberg baffled by lack of pace in Hungary qualifying, but happy to shadow Hamilton’s strategy

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Nico Rosberg was unsure why he lacked the pace to challenge Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for pole position in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Rosberg qualified second at the Hungaroring on Saturday, half a second back from Hamilton as the Briton stormed to his fifth consecutive pole position.

Throughout the session, Rosberg reported that he was experiencing understeer on his Mercedes W06 Hybrid car, and finished just two-tenths ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in third place.

Speaking after qualifying, Rosberg admitted that he was clueless as to why he was so far behind Hamilton.

“I don’t have an explanation,” Rosberg said. “Qualifying went pretty much to plan with everything but I didn’t find the pace.

“It’s been a bit up and down all weekend for unexplained reasons, so just need to look into it tonight. Definitely not happy with how it went today.”

Rosberg currently trails Hamilton by 17 points at the top of the drivers’ championship, but after seeing the Briton finish fastest in every session so far this weekend in Hungary, he will know that a drastic change in fortunes is required if he is to cut the gap.

One such way of making this happen could be by opting for a different strategy to Hamilton, but Rosberg told NBCSN that he does not believe that this would be wise.

“The problem is that there’s too much luck involved then because we can only predict the best strategy and the best strategy should go to the guy in front on the grid, he should be allowed to use that,” Rosberg said.

“For the other guy to just go on another one and get lucky with it and win, that’s not really fair, so I think it’s fine like that.”

When told by NBCSN that luck is a part of racing, as seen in Monaco earlier this year, Rosberg said: “I use skill.”

The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on CNBC and Live Extra from 7:30am ET tomorrow.