• Malaysian GP - Qualifying

Rosberg: Anything possible from third

ESPN Staff
March 29, 2014 « Bottas slapped with three-place grid penalty | Raikkonen surprised by struggles in the wet »
Nico Rosberg was unable to replicate his strong intermediate form on the wet tyre © Sutton Images

Nico Rosberg admits he is happy enough with third on the grid despite seeing an early advantage over Lewis Hamilton slip through his fingers in qualifying.

Rosberg looked stronger heading into qualifying and led on the intermediates in Q2 but was pipped to pole by Hamilton and to second by Sebastian Vettel as the rain intensified in the last session. Despite seeing his team-mate and a Red Bull ahead of him for the second race in a row after struggling on the wet tyre, Rosberg is not too concerned ahead of Sunday's race.

"It was [a close battle], except for right at the end unfortunately," he said. "I was a little bit less comfortable on the full wets especially in braking, we will have to look into that. Other than that it is still a decent place to be, third place. The race is going to be long tomorrow and who knows what the weather is going to be tomorrow and everything. I'm looking forward to tomorrow and trying to make the most of it again. I didn't get the best out of [the lap] on the first set in Q3 and then on the last lap I had a decent lap but the track was probably a bit slower. Then at the end of the lap I couldn't see where I was going because Ricciardo was too close to me. It was just a train of guys in front. It was damage limitation sort of lap to beat Fernando [Alonso] and be third on the grid."

The presence of Sebastian Vettel will loom large over the two Mercedes drivers on Sunday and Rosberg insists Red Bull cannot be ruled out, even if it does not rain.

"In the wet for sure Sebastian has a shot at the win, definitely. They're on it. In the dry even there he was looking quick this weekend so they are close in all conditions. [Red Bull] don't need to do warning signals, we're expecting them already. They are still the absolute benchmark in this sport and they are pushing like crazy so we expect them to close the gap."

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