How is Mercedes management viewing Sunday’s inevitable duel between Rosberg and Hamilton?
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport: “Today’s was another session that shows what is so good about their rivalry: in Singapore, Nico was the one with the advantage; in Sepang, Lewis had the upper hand; and now it’s so closely matched.
“They just keep pushing each other to new heights every week and pushing the limits of what the car can do.
“Looking ahead to tomorrow, we know it will be a close race. The gaps are getting smaller at the end of the season, like we expected, and with Vettel’s grid penalty, both Red Bulls will be very close on track – as well as Kimi starting from P3. Their long runs were extremely competitive yesterday, so it will be a tough race and important to take our opportunities. The weather could also play its part, so we will need to prepare diligently and execute our race plan perfectly.”
Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical) was non-committal: “It was a terrifically close competition for pole between Lewis and Nico. Just 0.013 splitting the two of them when it came down to the final run in Q3. Lewis had the initial advantage with the first run at the start of the final session but it was Nico who took pole position in the last few seconds. It was very tense because it was also very close with Red Bull and Ferrari, all six cars crossing within 0.400 seconds of each other.
“We’re very happy to claim a 10th front row lockout of the season at this track, one of the most iconic of the entire Formula One season. We’re looking forward to the race tomorrow, where the most difficult job still has to be done.”