Pole man Nico Rosberg says the prospect of safety cars around the tricky Baku City Circuit means he cannot discount a charge from Lewis Hamilton in the European Grand Prix despite their disparate starting positions.
With Hamilton crashing out of contention in Q3, Rosberg reeled off a comfortable third pole position of the season in Azerbaijan, eight tenths clear of Force India's Sergio Perez.
With his main title rival down in tenth place, Rosberg senses an opportunity to re-extend his dwindling lead in the overall standings, but insists the threat of Hamilton – along with Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel – cannot be discounted.
“Of course it's going to be Daniel and Sebastian, Kimi and Lewis, never forget him. He can always come back from 10th as he has shown many times this year.”
“I understand that the gap was pretty big in front but still a lot going on all over the place and that's down to the track. I'm sure the race is also going to be very exciting, it's one of the easiest tracks to overtake so I think there's going to be a lot of changing places I think, probably a lot of safety cars too and restarts, so it should be a good show.”
Indeed, Rosberg has little doubt that Hamilton can stage a comeback up the order as he did in Russia when he finished second having started tenth.
“On the one side I'm excited for my team colleagues because they want to have a one-two and it's still possible tomorrow but it's going to be more difficult now for sure. Lewis has shown very often that from 10th place he can come back from and he did that in Russia."
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