Nico Rosberg says he is wary of the threat Sebastian Vettel poses to Mercedes in the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Vettel managed to split the two Mercedes during a wet qualifying session at Sepang on Saturday, ending up just 0.055s off Lewis Hamilton's pole position time. Although Mercedes had looked dominant in dry conditions all weekend, Rosberg believes Vettel has shown that Red Bull is able to fight for victory regardless of the weather on Sunday.

"In the wet for sure Sebastian has a shot at the win, definitely," Rosberg said. "They're on it. In the dry even there he was looking quick this weekend so they are close in all conditions.

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"[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."

And Rosberg explained that he had struggled on the full wet tyre compared to both Hamilton and Vettel in qualifying but was happy enough to secure third on the grid.

"I think they were a little bit quicker - both of them - on the full wets. On the inters I was comfortable but on the full wets I was a little bit less comfortable and I think they were just a bit quicker. It's OK, third place is a good place to start from tomorrow and everything is possible from there in the race. I prepared well for the race on Friday, so it should be good.

"I didn't get the best out of [the lap] on the first set in qualy three and then on the last lap I had a decent lap but the track was probably a little bit slower. Then at the end of the lap I couldn't see where I was going because Ricciardo was too close to me because 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."