Will Nico be smil­ing in Suzuka?

Ros­berg will start the Ja­panese Grand Prix on pole po­si­tion

7 Days in Dubai - - SPORT -

N ico Ros­berg is in the best pos­si­ble po­si­tion to ex­tend his cham­pi­onship ad­van­tage over Mercedes team­mate Lewis Hamil­ton at to­day’s Ja­panese Grand Prix where he will start in pole po­si­tion.

Af­ter the Ger­man’s bat­tling dis­play last week in Malaysia where he fought back from an early crash to claim third place, Ros­berg was des­per­ate to claim the 30th pole of his ca­reer.

And with the Mercedes duo once again well clear of their ri­vals, it was left to Ros­berg to edge past Hamil­ton, fin­ish­ing just 0.013 sec­onds ahead of the three-time world cham­pion.

How­ever, the 31-year-old knows that the hard work is still to be done as he at­tempts to move closer to win­ning his very first world ti­tle.

“It’s been a good week­end so far, I’ve been feel­ing good out there,” said Ros­berg. “The end of qual­i­fy­ing was pretty in­tense but I had a good feel­ing. I knew if I get the job done and put in a de­cent lap then it should be enough. I man­aged to do a good lap in the end.

“For sure, there’s all the work to be done. I still need to get the job done on the start, then race pace and strat­egy. We’re feel­ing good about it and we think we can be quick­est.”

Mean­while, Hamil­ton was pleased to have made it onto the front row af­ter a dif­fi­cult week.

The English­man had been left ques­tion­ing his own team af­ter see­ing an­other en­gine blow last week in Malaysia, but was able to demon­strate his speed around the dif­fi­cult Suzuka track. And be firmly be­lieves that he can get back in the ti­tle hunt by se­cur­ing vic­tory in Ja­pan. “I’m happy with qual­i­fy­ing,” he said “It’s been a week­end of a lot of work, get­ting the set-up right, some big changes went into qual­i­fy­ing. “Con­sid­er­ing that, to be that close, I was re­ally happy with it. I did as well as I could I think. His­tory has shown you don’t have to be on pole to get the win. “Of course, start­ing on pole is al­ways a good thing, let’s hope the work we’ve been do­ing on the starts can pay off. Who knows what the weather here is go­ing to do.”

While Mercedes se­cured an­other front-row lock­out, Kimi Raikko­nen qual­i­fied third and Fer­rari team­mate Se­bas­tian Vet­tel was fourth. How­ever, he will start in sev­enth af­ter be­ing hit with a three-place grid penalty af­ter crash­ing into Ros­berg in Malaysia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UAE

© PressReader. All rights reserved.