Nico Rosberg says he is not happy with second place on the grid for the Australian Grand Prix, but is convinced there will be “new opportunities” in the race to beat team-mate and pole sitter, Lewis Hamilton.
Rosberg had finished last year on a high, with three wins in a row and his sixth pole position in succession in Abu Dhabi. However, he has trailed Hamilton all weekend in Melbourne.
Indeed after crashing in tricky damp conditions on Friday in FP2, Rosberg made another mistake in Q1, when ran wide into the first corner and went on the grass. Although that proved academic and he progressed to Q2 with relative ease, he was unable to match Hamilton in the all-important top-eight shootout, finishing 0.360 seconds down, although his final lap did bump him up from fourth to second.
“The last lap in Q3 was good but Lewis did a better job – that's it,” Rosberg said.
“It's impressive that the team, for the third year running, is the quickest, but let's be careful it's just the start of the season The risk is getting complacent but we didn't and everyone pushed very hard to keep improving the car.
"I'm not happy with second place but there will be new opportunities tomorrow."
“Tomorrow there will be more unknowns," continued the German. "If Lewis gets the start, if we have to change the strategy because of traffic behind or something, he won't know about it, so there's a lot at stake at the start and a few more scenarios to play with.
"I like the new rules, because it gives more chances to change things.”
Pressed if he was disappointed not to extend his pole position run to seven on the trot, Rosberg maintained that wasn't his focus coming into qualifying.
“My run of consecutive pole positions has come to an end but that's not what was on my mind when I started qualifying,” he insisted.