Nico Rosberg has said that he will be keeping an eye on his team-mate's progress in Sunday's German Grand Prix, despite Lewis Hamilton having to start the race from row eight.
The Briton was denied a shot at pole position after a brake failure sent him spinning into the tyre barrier in Q1, leaving Rosberg a clear road to the front of the grid for his home race. Having seen his championship lead trimmed to just four points after Hamilton won, from sixth on the grid, at Silverstone last time out, Rosberg is taking nothing for granted as he attempts to claim a fourth win of the 2014 campaign.
“I still expect him to come through the field quickly, but I don't know, it's difficult to predict,” the recently-married German admitted, "I need to do my own race, I need to push anyways from the front. I need to go for it and try and pull a gap and then see where I am with strategy and everything."
Rosberg also claimed that the gloss of taking the first German pole position for Mercedes had been dimmed by the absence of his team-mate from the final phases of the session.
“It's been going really, really well and, [at my] home race, to be on pole is fantastic,” he conceded, “Of course, I would have preferred if it was an open fight with Lewis, and I'm a little less happy as a result because Lewis didn't have a shot at it in the end. All in all, it's been a fantastic day, but there are no points for today and the important stuff is tomorrow. There's a long way to go, but it's a good start.”
Knowing that Hamilton had failed to complete the session, Rosberg said he had been given no other details of the Briton's incident other than the fact that the problem would not affect his car, principally due to the fact that he uses a different make of brake disc. The German had a rocky start to the afternoon, with two excursions leaving him down in 21st spot on the timesheet, but he took advantage of the red flag period to gather himself and immediately shot to P1, where he remained for the rest of the day.
“I didn't have details about the other car, I just knew it didn't apply to my car so, from that point of view, I was comfortable that I could keep on pushing,” he noted, “We run two different brakes so the problem he had didn't apply to my car. It looks pretty bad, but I'm hearing he is okay.”
With the excessive temperatures experienced on Friday and Saturday forecast to be replaced by cooler, possibly stormy, conditions on race day, Rosberg is hoping for a slightly easier time.
“It's supposed to be a bit colder, which should make it easier on the tyres because they are very, very soft and degradation is high but, of course, the weather could play a role so we'll just take it as it comes,” he noted.