October 12th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Nico Rosberg has expressed his dissatisfaction with sixth on the grid for the Japanese Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver felt he had delivered a good lap, but the results were not in his favour.
Rosberg's sixth-place qualifying lap was just 0.032 seconds slower than Romain Grosjean who qualified fourth. And therein lies the source of Rosberg's frustrations. He expected to be higher up the grid after delivering what was, objectively, a strong lap time - Rosberg was just 0.144 seconds slower than Lewis Hamilton in the other Mercedes, and Hamilton is widely regarded as one of the quickest drivers in the world over a single lap. Rosberg said after qualifying:
"It was a good lap but it's annoying when you step out of the car and the gap to the cars ahead is so close."
While Rosberg is not happy to be as far back as sixth on the grid, he is aware that points are only awarded on Sundays in Formula One, and with that in mind he has tailored his setup more for the race than for qualifying. He explained his expectations for the Japanese Grand Prix:
"I have put my set-up more towards tomorrow afternoon, so I'm quite confident about what will be a challenging race for the tyres. P6 is not a bad position to start from and I will try to climb some places up the order. Qualifying always involves some compromises in terms of set-up but we saw in Korea that it was working out quite well for me in the race until my wing broke. I hope we have found the same good balance between qualifying and race performance this weekend."
Last year, Rosberg retired from the Japanese Grand Prix on the first lap due to contact with Bruno Senna's Williams. Rosberg will be hoping to at least finish the race this time round, particularly as he now has a car that is capable of challenging for the podium and perhaps even victory.