Nico Rosberg was content but not overawed by his pole position in qualifying for Sunday’s Chinese Grand Prix after Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton was sidelined by an engine issue early on.
Hamilton failed to post a time in Q1 due to an ERS problem on his Mercedes W07 Hybrid car, resigning him to the back of the grid for the start of tomorrow’s race.
Rosberg took advantage of Hamilton’s demise to pick up his first pole of the season, beating Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen at the end of Q3.
Speaking after the session, Rosberg was happy with his display, but said he did not feel ecstatic after seeing Hamilton hit trouble.
“I’m pleased of course. The whole weekend has gone well,” Rosberg said.
“The car was handling well today in qualifying. To get a lap done and put it in pole, I’m happy about that of course.
“I’m not ecstatic because of course Lewis had bad luck and his car broke down. The fight didn’t happen, didn’t take place.
“But anyway, I’m pleased.”
Rosberg will start Sunday’s race on the soft tire after managing to get through Q2 without using the quicker super-softs, which Mercedes was known to be uneasy about using in the race due to their short life.
However, Rosberg remains unsure about what kind of advantage it will offer.
“I’m not really sure, I haven’t dug into strategy stuff so much just yet,” Rosberg said.
“I think it’s going to be a good thing to start with that tire, but I’m not sure yet, we need to look into it tonight.”
The Chinese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and Live Extra from 1:30am ET on Sunday.