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F1 Malaysian GP: Title leader Rosberg shrugs off Hamilton pole

Nico Rosberg feels he has as good a chance at victory in the Malaysian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton despite a scruffy qualifying session.
RESULTS: Malaysian Grand Prix – Qualifying results

Nico Rosberg has shrugged off Lewis Hamilton's run to pole position in the Malaysian Grand Prix, insisting he is fully focused on making sure his form counts on race day.

Having moved back ahead in the fight for this year's F1 world title with his third win in a row in Singapore, Rosberg comes to Malaysia with momentum on his side even if he has never triumphed in Sepang before.

With errors on both of his flying laps hampering his efforts against challenging Hamilton for pole position, Rosberg remained sanguine about his scruffy qualifying session, insisting his race chances are just as strong as his Mercedes team-mate from the front row.

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“I was one-tenth down until the last corner, and then had a mistake [at the final corner]. And that is it, so it was very close out there. It didn't quite work out, you know, one time it is him, one time it is me. It goes back and forth all the time as we've always seen. And today was just his day. I just need to make sure that tomorrow becomes my day.”

Admitting the start could be crucial given the difficulty in following cars around the Sepang circuit, Rosberg is also keeping a keen eye on Red Bull after it showed decent long run pace on Friday.

“It is difficult [to follow],” he continued. “The start is a great opportunity for me, as we've seen. And then after that more difficult.

“Red Bull were very close on Friday, so for sure they can be a threat. Especially with strategies as we saw in Singapore. Even in Singapore Red Bull was a big threat. So we need to keep an eye on them.”

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