• Singapore Grand Prix

Fifth an unexpected bonus for Rosberg

ESPN Staff
September 23, 2012 « Hamilton gutted to miss out on 'easy win' | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Nico Rosberg started tenth and climbed up to finish fifth © Sutton Images

Nico Rosberg admitted that he didn't expect to be able to finish in fifth place in the Singapore Grand Prix.

Mercedes came to Singapore in optimistic mood with some major new upgrades including an updated exhaust. However, practice and qualifying had shown the team to be off the pace of the front runners, with rear tyre degradation a major issue, and Rosberg said he was surprised to finish so high up after admitting "everything worked out perfectly".

"I'm pleased, I didn't foresee that I was going to finish fifth because generally the weekend has been quite difficult," Rosberg said. "But I had a good start and everything worked out perfectly today, so that was nice. It's been a while since everything's really gone to plan; even the safety car came out at the right moment so it's really good."

Rosberg also said that the new updates were providing an improvement in performance but that the result didn't mask the fact that Mercedes has work to do.

"Well, not [working] according to plan - we're not where we want to be - but it's progress and we learned a lot. It's not something that you put on and straight away it's going to do a massive jump so we need to work on it and optimise it, so that's what we're going to have to do now in the upcoming days."

Rosberg also paid tribute to the team's decision not to run in Q3 on Saturday in order to save tyres for the race.

"Finishing in fifth place having started in 10th is a pretty decent result and I'm happy to have picked up some good points for myself and the team. It's also nice to have stayed ahead of the two Lotus cars which I didn't expect before the race. Saving a fresh set of tyres in qualifying yesterday proved to be the right strategy as I had a good start and a strong first stint. Thanks to the team for that and for making the right calls in the race today. Now I'm looking forward to Japan and the opportunity to improve our new package further."