Mercedes man Nico Rosberg has hailed his pole position for the 2013 F1 Bahrain Grand Prix as a 'kick start'.
Rosberg struggled on Friday in practice, however, Mercedes turned things around overnight and the German eventually took top spot in the third qualifying session with relative ease, ending up 0.254 seconds up on Sebastian Vettel, who was 'best of the rest' in his Red Bull.
It was the second pole position of his F1 career and the first consecutive pole positions for Mercedes-Benz since it returned as a works entity in 2010.
“For the first time this season everything went perfectly today and that's a great feeling,” said Rosberg. “Pole position feels like a kick start for me and it's a great achievement from everyone in the team.
“We still had some work to do after the practice sessions yesterday and the team had a busy night to turn it around. Thanks to them for the quickest car out there today.”
Despite his success though, Rosberg knows race day will be a completely different test: “The race tomorrow is a different story and we're very aware of that,” he confirmed. “It will be difficult, especially with the rear tyres, and we know that other teams were stronger than us on the long runs on Friday.
“It will be a big challenge to stay ahead but starting from the front helps,” he added.
Mercedes team principal, Ross Brawn meanwhile was delighted to see Rosberg come out top, especially given the teams woes 24 hours earlier.
It wasn't all jubilation, however, as Lewis Hamilton had a more difficult day in the sister car, and while he qualified fourth, he will drop to ninth due to a five-place penalty for a gearbox change. Mercedes was forced to change it after a piece of debris on track caused a left rear tyre failure at the end of final practice this morning, which in turn damaged the suspension and the gearbox.
“As a team, we recovered well from two difficult practice sessions yesterday. Neither driver was happy and, together with their engineers, they did a great job to put us in a much stronger position today,” Brawn stated.
“Nico produced a great lap to take pole. I said earlier in the season that I think we have the best driver pairing in F1 and they are proving it with their performances. Lewis had some problems this morning but he coped with them well and recovered strongly to qualify fourth fastest. He will drop five places on the grid tomorrow but we can still expect him to deliver a strong race.
“We know tomorrow's race could be very different and perhaps today's slightly cooler conditions favoured us, so let's see what it brings.”