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Dublin: 12°C Sunday 16 May 2021

Pole perfection for Rosburg in China

The German will share the front row of tomorrow’s starting grid with Mercedes teammate and seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher.

Image: Andy Wong/AP/Press Association Images

NICO ROSBURG LABELLED the lap that gave him his maiden pole at the Chinese Grand Prix “perfect”.

The Mercedes driver dominated qualifying at the Shanghai International Circuit on Saturday, finishing half a second quicker than Lewis Hamilton, who will start seventh after receiving a five-place penalty.

Rosberg, 26, said the warmer track conditions helped during qualifying, and was delighted with a result that secured an all-Mercedes front row.

“It went really well and it’s a very special feeling. Now, obviously, l am looking forward to starting first during the race,” the German said. “The track was cooling off, the temperatures were coming down so the rear tyres started working better. We changed setup before the last run and I did a perfect lap.”

With their innovative front wing design the perfect complement to Shanghai’s long straights, Mercedes were expected to be quick in qualifying.

Technological advantages aside, Rosberg said he was still concerned about the team’s race pace and the possibility of accelerated tyre degradation.

“It is clear in the race we have not been as quick as in qualifying, but we are making progress. We will try our best and work tonight and see what we can do with setup electronically and then make the most of it,” Rosberg said.

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“It is a great feeling, getting a good lap in at the end and it shows as a team we are moving forward. In the race we are not there yet but we are getting there, we won’t make big jumps in a couple of weeks, it will take some time, but we are getting there.”

Teammate Michael Schumacher, who will start alongside Rosburg on tomorrow’s grid, was outwardly thrilled with the result.

“It’s a great result, and I am very happy for everybody. Congratulations to Nico, he achieved his first pole position with a just fabulous lap,” the seven-time world champion said.”I can easily respect he did the better job today, and I am happy for him.”

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