• Belgian GP - Qualifying

Rosberg surprised by Mercedes advantage

ESPN Staff
August 23, 2014 « Hamilton hampered by brakes again in Q3 | Q2 gamble pays off for Vettel »
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Nico Rosberg admits he expected some of Mercedes' rivals to be closer in the wet in Belgium after he claimed his fourth pole position on the bounce.

Rosberg pipped team-mate Lewis Hamilton by 0.228s in Q3, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel over two seconds behind his benchmark in third. A deluge of biblical proportions before qualifying was followed by intermittent bursts of drizzle and sunshine, which meant intermediates were the primary choice throughout and Rosberg thinks the conditions were perfect to maximise the advantage Mercedes enjoyed.

"It was really amazing to see how quick our car is," Rosberg said. "From that point it was just Lewis I had to focus on which makes it easier. I think even in [full] wet we would have been strong. Maybe the others would have been closer, it's very difficult to say who exactly - I'm not too sure about that. Clearly it helped us that it was wet because the gap was bigger and really dominant."

Traditionally Saturdays have been viewed as one of Hamilton's strength but Belgium becomes Rosberg's seventh pole position of the season, and he says he grew into the session as it continued.

"Pole is awesome, definitely, at this track because it's one of the most special tracks in the year so to be in front here is great. It's not quite as difficult out there as on other occasions because the conditions were almost always intermediates, just varying slightly, so that made it a bit easier today.

"But still, it's always difficult on this track in the wet so I'm really, really happy. Together with my engineers we really fine-tuned it perfectly in qualifying and got it right in the end. In the end I was really feeling comfortable and felt able to push so it's fantastic - but it's only qualifying, there's still a long race tomorrow but of course I'm very happy."

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