Manama, April 21, 2012 (AFP) - Nico Rosberg compromised his Bahrain Grand Prix qualifying performance on Saturday by choosing to work on his race set-up, instead of outright one-lap speed.
Speaking after settling for fifth place on the grid in his Mercedes, the 26-year-old German said his decision was important because the race would be governed by set-up decisions and tyre-wear.
"You know, for me, it is very nice to say I am disappointed about fifth place - that shows how far we've come as a team this year.
"In general, we've been working towards the race, we just compromised qualifying a little bit to make it possible to do a good race tomorrow (Sunday).
"We've been improving things all through the weekend and I feel more comfortable in the race than qualifying at the moment. For this race, it's just tyre management that really matters - and driving carefully."
Rosberg won his maiden victory in last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix where he was on pole position as Mercedes swept the front row of the grid.
His Mercedes team-mate, seven-times champion and fellow-German Michael Schumacher, was knocked out of qualifying in Q1 after suffering from a problem with his car's Drag Reduction System (DRS).