Nico Rosberg admits he underestimated the threat of Sebastian Vettel after the Ferrari racer beat him to second on the grid for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Rosberg will start Sunday’s race in Sakhir just third, behind pole sitter Lewis Hamilton and Vettel in the Ferrari.
The German says he took it easy during the second part of qualifying to conserve his race tyres, and as a result struggled to re-find his rhythm in the final shootout for pole.
“It’s just strategy-wise today that I got it wrong,” Rosberg said. “I was thinking too much about the race, and I underestimated Sebastian’s speed and how much it would cost me.
“What I mean is that taking it easy in Q2 on the race set of tyres that we started the race with, I just lacked rhythm as a result.
“I didn’t get into the rhythm and I just had one shot at it at the end. So that’s where I went wrong today.
“Disappointed, because Sebastian beat me. If I was second, it would be damage limitation, but being third is not ideal.”
This article first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Daimler