Rosberg puts Suzuka pole down to great car confidence

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Nico Rosberg says that the great confidence he is feeling in the Mercedes W07 Formula 1 car at Suzuka allowed him to storm to his eighth pole position of the season.

Rosberg dominated all three practice sessions and the first two parts of qualifying before slipping behind Mercedes teammate and drivers’ title rival Lewis Hamilton after the first runs in Q3.

Rosberg managed to pull out a stunning final lap to claim P1 by 0.013 seconds in the dying moments of the session, marking his third straight Japanese Grand Prix pole.

“I’ve been feeling great all weekend, having felt incredibly comfortable in the car,” Rosberg said.

“It gave me the confidence to push even harder at the end of Q3 which meant I pulled out a great lap to recover pole from Lewis. Suzuka is a really difficult circuit because of the varying corners which means it’s even more difficult to get the car set up just right.

“It’s great to start from P1, but as we’ve realised, it’s not the most important thing this year as you also need to get the start and the race strategy spot on. Lewis will push hard and so will the Ferraris and the Red Bulls. It’s clear that both these teams looked very strong on the high fuel.

“It will be an exciting race tomorrow, in front of Suzuka’s amazing fans. I’m definitely looking forward to it!”

The Japanese Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and the NBC Sports app from 12am ET on Sunday.