Rosberg plays down victory chances
20 April 2013 – Nico Rosberg has admitted that converting pole position into victory during Sunday's Bahrain Grand Prix will be extremely difficult to achieve, with the Mercedes driver wary of high rear-tyre degradation levels amid rising air and track temperatures.
Having struggled for grip on Friday, the German enjoyed a trouble-free qualifying session to overcome early pace-setters Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso. However, he understands that both men will provide "tough competition" tomorrow.
"Tomorrow will be tough, with rear degradation especially," Rosberg explained. "A lot can still happen, but I really want to kick-start my season. Today was the first normal qualifying for me up to now. The competition is going to be tough; it’s difficult to say if we have enough pace to win, but we’ll try. I’ll look forward to starting first."
Rosberg hailed a series of overnight changes for his ability to fight for pole position this afternoon, having suffered with an unbalanced car throughout Friday practice.
"It wasn’t really clear who had the quickest car, especially over one lap," he added. "I was a little closer bit this morning already, feeling happier. We worked well to improve the car overnight, as yesterday we were really struggling. It’s a fantastic result."
In the sister Mercedes, Hamilton finished 0.432 seconds slower than Rosberg in fourth position. The Briton will drop five places on the grid due to a gearbox change.