Nico Rosberg will start from the front row for the Brazilian Grand Prix tomorrow with Lewis Hamilton qualifying in fifth place.
Nico’s second place starting position marks the team’s 16th front row of the season and Nico’s seventh in total. Nico ran the following tyre strategy: Q1, new inter; Q2, new inter/new inter; Q3, new x-wet/new inter. Lewis qualified in the top five for the 17th time in 19 races this season.He ran the same tyre strategy as Nico during the three wet parts of qualifying.
That was a very demanding qualifying session today with really tricky conditions and a long break before the final session. I’m really pleased to have achieved second place on the grid and a big thank you to the team for their work; we did everything right today. My target was to give Sebastian a hard time so I was surprised that the gap was so big in these conditions. I lost time in the last sector compared to him which was down to a lack of KERS power when you do two consecutive quick laps. Being on the front row gives us a great opportunity in the race but the most important thing is to stay in front of the Ferraris.
Naturally I’m a little disappointed with fifth place as Nico’s position shows there was clearly potential for more today. Wet sessions haven’t been too good for me this year and, although we made some changes going into qualifying, I’m struggling to get to grips with how the car works in these conditions. It’s getting better but there is still so much to learn. However we’ve got everything to play for in the race tomorrow and I hope to have a good fight out there and make some progress forward. Our aim of course is to finish ahead of the Ferraris and hopefully score enough points to secure our second place finish.
Qualifying sessions like that always offer plenty of potential to trip over and the team did a very good job today. To have both our cars in the top five is a good overall result after such an unusual afternoon. Nico has managed to get the car exactly where he wants it in terms of wet set-up this weekend and was very comfortable out there; Lewis hasn’t quite found the same sweet spot but still delivered a strong lap to get into the top five. None of us have done any running in dry conditions this weekend so, if it does dry out tomorrow, it will be an interesting experience for all of us. That brings the potential for surprises and we will handle them as they come and seize every opportunity that comes our way.
A wet qualifying session is one where it’s far easier to get things wrong than to get them right so it’s pleasing that we managed to get things pretty much right this afternoon. It was a very tricky session and the team did a good job to deliver second and fifth places, although we must analyse why Lewis did not manage to put his second lap together and if, perhaps, we were a little too conservative with our timings. But it’s always easy to be smart in hindsight and the important thing is that we will start from strong grid positions tomorrow. So overall we can be happy with a good team performance.
Source: Mercedes AMG Petronas