Mercedes: There will be a lot of opportunities that come our way
21 September, 2013
Nico Rosberg will start from second place for tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton qualifying in fifth place.
- Nico qualified just 0.091s behind pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel, equivalent to a deficit of less than a car length
- Lewis took fifth position with a time of 1:43.254, improving his initial Q3 time by over half a second
- Both drivers were able to make two new option tyre runs in Q3 after setting their times on used sets in Q2
- This was the 10th race of 13 this season where at least one Mercedes-Benz has qualified on the front row
Nico Rosberg: We’ve had a really good weekend so far and have been able to improve the car from session to session with some great work from my engineers and mechanics so my thanks to them. It was so close to beating Sebastian to pole this evening but I’m still really happy to have achieved second place. It’s so important to start from the front here so we are in a very good position for the race. Our race pace was strong on Friday so I’m feeling quite confident for tomorrow evening. I doubt if we have enough performance to beat Sebastian but I’ll do my best to have a good start and then we’ll see how it goes from there.
Lewis Hamilton: Qualifying didn’t quite come together for me this evening. I tried my best out there but I just didn’t have a great feeling in the car and ultimately I wasn’t fast enough. Clearly the car was quicker than what I was able to get out of it tonight so, of course, it’s frustrating not to have qualified closer to the front as Nico did. So not a good day for me but that’s life. We’ll turn today’s negative into a positive overnight and I’ll be pushing as hard as I can in the race tomorrow. There are still people ahead of me that we can beat and our target will be to get on the podium, that would be amazing.
Ross Brawn: That was a pretty good qualifying for us, extracting the maximum from the car and running a good session so that both drivers had two fresh sets of option tyres available in Q3. It was a brave move from Sebastian and Red Bull to sit out the final run, and it just paid off for them, but it would have been nice to have given them cause to regret it. Nico put in a great lap to claim second while Lewis was just a little bit off Nico’s pace today and took fifth place. That’s the great thing about our team, though: we have two drivers who push each other hard, they work well together and the team works hard to find the right solutions for both drivers. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s race, I think there will be a lot of opportunities that come our way. Red Bull looked extremely fast in Friday practice but strategy will play a big part in the race and it’s quite likely we could see the front-running cars making different tyre choices after their opening stints on the option tyres.
Toto Wolff: We fought tooth and nail this afternoon against what looked like an untouchable lap time from Sebastian and Nico did a brilliant job to get so close to toppling him from the top of the timesheets. Nico can be very pleased with his lap, which was the maximum the car could have delivered today, and Lewis gave a strong performance to put both our cars in the top five. Now we need to see what tomorrow brings: the start will give us a chance to make up places and the Safety Car has played a role in every race in Singapore so far, which again could open up more opportunities for us.