Mercedes: We should be under no illusions it will be a very tough race 20 April, 2013 96 Nico Rosberg Nico Rosberg took the second pole position of his career in Bahrain today with Lewis Hamilton qualifying in fourth place. The result gave the team its first consecutive pole positions since the return of Mercedes-Benz as a works team in 2010 Lewis was forced to take a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change following the third practice session A piece of debris on the circuit caused a left rear tyre failure which led to suspension and gearbox damage He qualified in fourth place in spite of these setbacks and will start tomorrow’s race from ninth position Nico Rosberg For the first time this season everything went perfectly today and that’s a great feeling. Pole position feels like a kick start for me and it’s a great achievement from everyone in the team. We still had some work to do after the practice sessions yesterday and the team had a busy night to turn it around. Thanks to them for the quickest car out there today. The race tomorrow is a different story and we’re very aware of that. It will be difficult, especially with the rear tyres, and we know that other teams were stronger than us on the long runs on Friday. It will be a big challenge to stay ahead but starting from the front helps. Lewis Hamilton It wasn’t the best of days for me but big congratulations to Nico. Back to back pole positions for the team is great and Nico did a really good job out there. I couldn’t quite find the pace today and with losing five places from changing the gearbox, we’ve got a tough challenge ahead starting from ninth place. These things happen and I’ll do my best tomorrow. The best chance to gain some positions will come at the start and then we’ll see how it goes. Tyre degradation will be a huge factor so it’s going to be a very interesting race. Ross Brawn As a team, we recovered well from two difficult practice sessions yesterday. Neither driver was happy and, together with their engineers, they did a great job to put us in a much stronger position today. Nico produced a great lap to take pole. I said earlier in the season that I think we have the best driver pairing in Formula One and they are proving it with their performances. Lewis had some problems this morning but he coped with them well and recovered strongly to qualify fourth fastest. He will drop five places on the grid tomorrow but we can still expect him to deliver a strong race. We know tomorrow’s race could be very different and perhaps today’s slightly cooler conditions favoured us, so let’s see what it brings. Toto Wolff First and fourth places were a strong result this afternoon and we have to be very happy with Nico’s pole position. He did a great job and both of his timed laps in Q3 would have put him on pole position. Lewis has had a more difficult and disrupted weekend so far so qualifying was all about damage limitation for him, which he managed to do extremely well. However, we should be under no illusions about tomorrow. It will be a very tough race and it will be important for us to race hard in order to get both cars to the finish in strong positions.