Chinese GP: Rosberg sure of stronger race pace

Nico Rosberg says he has no concerns about only being fourth on the Chinese Grand Prix as he suspects his car will have better race pace than many other frontrunners

Chinese GP: Rosberg sure of stronger race pace

Last year's dominant Shanghai winner had been tipped as a pole and victory threat having blitzed opening practice.

But while Rosberg's Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton stormed to the squad's first pole of the 2013 Formula 1 season, the German was 0.4 seconds slower in fourth, behind Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus and Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

"It was a decent lap until the last corner, where unfortunately I just messed up a little bit," Rosberg said.

"It was just when you think the lap is done and nothing can go wrong... But I didn't get it right.

"But fourth place is OK.

"All weekend, I've been thinking a lot about the race in general and set-up, because it's going to be hotter tomorrow and that might catch a few people out. It's a decent position.

"I'm sure it's possible to go forward from fourth. How far? I don't know yet."

Rosberg also played down the disruption caused by the hydraulic problems that sidelined his car during final practice.

"Of course it affected me a little bit as it didn't allow me to practice qualifying in the morning, and sometimes you need to think about it and optimise the settings," he said.

"I was running behind a little bit through qualifying, but then again qualifying went OK. I was really progressing well."

He is certain that Mercedes' decision to go for a good grid position on soft tyres rather than hang back in Q3 and start on the favoured medium rubber will be proved correct.

"I think that's the right choice, especially with the pace we have in the car," Rosberg said.

"Starting on the soft gives us the chance to be far forward on the grid, and that should be the better strategy for tomorrow.

"I think I have the car well prepared for the race."

shares
comments
Chinese GP: Fernando Alonso says Ferrari still has big gap to close

Previous article

Chinese GP: Fernando Alonso says Ferrari still has big gap to close

Next article

Chinese GP qualifying quotes: Marussia

Chinese GP qualifying quotes: Marussia
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Nico Rosberg
Author Matt Beer
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Plus

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola, whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021