Nico Rosberg took pole position for tomorrow’s United States Grand Prix with Lewis Hamilton completing a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS front row lock out at the Circuit of the Americas.
The team scored its 16th pole position and 10th front-row lock-out in 17 races this afternoon at the Circuit of the Americas. Nico’s pole lap was 0.271s faster than the 2013 pole time set by Sebastian Vettel 12 months ago. This further reinforces the positive step that has been made with the 2014 Hybrid Power Units, delivering better performance with a 35% improvement in fuel efficiency over the previous engine format. This was Nico’s 9th pole position of the season, leaving him one pole away from securing the 2014 pole position trophy. Both drivers used the medium and soft tyre in Q1, the soft only in Q2 and Q3.
That was really a great team effort today. Starting from pole here in the US is obviously good – but it’s tomorrow that counts so there is still some way to go. Together with my engineers we found a great setup which made me feel very comfortable in the car at the end of Qualifying. At the beginning of Q1 I had a lot of understeer but we had different opportunities to explore in terms of changing that. We decided to change the front wing flap angle which worked out perfectly, so I was really able to push a lot through the corners. Now I look forward to tomorrow as I had some good long runs on Friday which allowed me to focus a bit more on the race with my setup.
It wasn’t the easiest of qualifying sessions for me today but I’m still starting from second place and we can have a good fight from there tomorrow. The problem was with the left front brake which was down on temperature and kept locking. Once you lose that confidence and rhythm under braking, it’s very difficult. It is a potential issue for the race but I’ll talk to our guys now and we can have a good look at it. Hopefully we can try and sand down the disc a little and then tomorrow should be better. The vibration that I had was just a minor flat spot so I’m not worried about that. Nico did a great job this afternoon and at the end I couldn’t get close to him so I’ll have to try and make it up tomorrow in the race.
That was a great qualifying result – especially after we had some problems with Nico’s car during practice this morning and with Lewis’ car yesterday afternoon. Nico put in a perfect lap while Lewis was struggling with relatively large amounts of front locking during the session. Since we secured the Constructors’ Championship at the last race in Sochi, we haven’t been taking anything for granted and have kept pushing. There has been a lot of talk about the momentum between the drivers in recent weeks but the reality is that we’re watching an equal fight at the very highest level – and this is a great thing for Formula One.
It’s brilliant to secure the front row after this morning’s practice session proved rather problematic – especially on Nico’s side of the garage – so congratulations to him for two successive laps good enough for pole position in Q3. Well done also to Lewis, who had some problems with front locking but still delivered some impressive laps. As the pressure mounts and we home in on the final races of the Championship, it’s great to see this fascinating battle between our two drivers and we’re looking forward to a good race tomorrow. Tyre endurance will be a much more significant factor than it was last year and we may see a variety of strategies and variations in pace during the race.
Source: Mercedes AMG Petronas