‘Start will be an important one tomorrow,’ says Rosberg

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Nico Rosberg’s advantage in distance over Lewis Hamilton in today’s qualifying session amounts to just 82cm, and while both drivers certainly deserved pole, it is the German who shall be heading the pack tomorrow.

Mercedes locks out the first row for the 10th time this season, and Rosberg, who topped every session, had no particular issues to report except that he was pleased with his achievement.

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“Of course, happy with the result in the end,” said the German.

“It was going well the whole weekend, I had a good balance in the car, feeling comfortable so that’s what allows me to put in a lap like that in the end. So yeah, pleased with that.

The statistics say that starting from second at Suzuka – Hamilton’s spot tomorrow – has been the most beneficial  position, but Rosberg clearly isn’t relying on past track records.

Obviously, the n°6 Mercedes driver isn’t looking at tomorrow’s race as a cut and dried exercise, with the hardest yet to come.

“For sure the start is going to be an important one tomorrow. We’ve seen this weekend that it’s not been too easy because of the downhill and the grips are a little bit lower than usual, so it’ll be an interesting challenge.

“From then on I just need to get the tyre life to do a long enough stint and everything to get the strategy working, so it’s putting everything together.”

Rosberg is also mindful of Mercedes’ rivals given the positive race pace displayed by both Red Bull and Ferrari.

“We always have an eye on the opposition, but we’re feeling good about everything and think we can be quickest tomorrow.”

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