Apr 20, 2013, 9:45 AM EST
Nico Rosberg stunned the field to claim a surprise pole position today in Bahrain, and although he is unsure that he can win the race tomorrow, the Mercedes driver is looking forward to starting 1st for just the second time.
“I really want to kick start my season now after three tough races,” Rosberg said after qualifying.
“Today was the first normal qualifying up to now. I’m okay for the race tomorrow but the competition is going to be tough.”
Rosberg managed to edge out Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso in qualifying, and the Mercedes driver is uncertain whether or not he can hold them off in the race tomorrow. Teammate Lewis Hamilton could only lead for a few laps in China before he lost out to Alonso and Felipe Massa.
“It’s difficult to say if we have enough pace to win tomorrow, but for sure we are going to try and I look forward to starting first.”This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
As much as the pole position surprised the F1 fraternity, Rosberg admitted that he was unsure of claiming pole himself.
“It wasn’t really clear before qualifying who had the quickest car over one lap. I was a bit closer this morning already, so I was happier than yesterday, which shows that as a team we worked really well overnight because yesterday we were really struggling.
“So that’s been going well and it’s a fantastic result. Tomorrow is going to be a tough race with rear tire degradation especially so a lot can still happen.”
This result marks Mercedes’ first back-to-back pole positions in almost sixty years, and it is also the first time this season that Rosberg has outqualified teammate Lewis Hamilton.
- Mercedes reserve Wehrlein leads final Abu Dhabi test day to end 2014 0
- Jean-Eric Vergne confirms Toro Rosso exit 1
- Bottas leads as McLaren-Honda delayed on first day of Abu Dhabi test 4
- Steve Letarte reflects on Hendrick Motorsports career in “exit interview” (VIDEO) 3
- Weekend wrap: Lewis Hamilton back on top of the F1 mountain 4
- Maurizio Arrivabene replaces Marco Mattiacci as Ferrari team principal 4
- Abu Dhabi GP Paddock Notebook – Sunday 0