• Malaysian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Rosberg still confident against Hamilton

ESPN Staff
March 23, 2013 « Alonso welcomes Massa's competitiveness | Sutil struggles with oversteer in the wet »
Lewis Hamilton currently holds a 2-0 qualifying record over Nico Rosberg © Getty Images

Nico Rosberg says he is still confident that he can beat Lewis Hamilton this year despite being outqualified by his team-mate for the second successive race.

With Rosberg having been with Mercedes since it re-entered the sport in 2010 he is expected to give Hamilton a stern test, at least in the early stages of their time as team-mates. However, Hamilton has settled quickly at Mercedes and qualified third in Australia and fourth in Malaysia while Rosberg has qualified sixth on both occasions.

Rosberg, however, says it isn't affecting his confidence. When it was put to him that Hamilton has a ferocious reputation in qualifying, Rosberg replied: "Very ferocious, yeah!

"For sure, I knew it was going to be tough, that's what I expected, but that's cool. That's what I'm here for - challenges like that - and I know how quick Lewis is. I raced him in go karts so it's no surprise really until now for me, but I'm still confident that I can give him a good run for his money."

With Mercedes having struggled with excessive tyre wear in recent seasons, Rosberg said it is an area the team has improved but that he isn't finding tyre conservation any easier this year.

"No, not necessarily, it's just as big a challenge. For me it's an interesting challenge, it really requires a lot of thought and for the engineers also to get the most out of it. And it gives us good racing so for now it's a good thing.

"For sure our car is better this year so it makes a lot of things easier, but tyre management in every situation if you do a good job with what you have you're going to do better in the race. It's a similarly large challenge at the moment as it was last year, but of course our car is better overall."

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