'I needed to pull one out' to win pole, says Rosberg

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Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg came into this weekend's qualifying session as the hot favourite to take his first pole position of the year after back-to-back successes for his team mate Lewis Hamilton in Melbourne and Bahrain.

Once Hamilton was sidelined with power unit issues early in the session you might have been forgiven for expecting pole to be a walk in the park for the championship leader. But Rosberg had no such illusions and was wary of the challenge from both Ferrari and Red Bull - and rightly so, it turned out.

"The team is just doing a great job and we have the fastest car out there, and that's it. We're putting it together in qualifying which is great to see," he said.

"Kimi did a big mistake [on his final run] - apparently, I haven't seen it - but lost a quite lot of time while my lap was very good, otherwise it would have been very close.

"That's what we're expecting actually, it's why I needed to pull one out to make sure I could be on pole today and I'm glad that it worked out.

"I’m pleased of course. The whole weekend has gone well, the car has been handling well today in qualifying. To get the lap done and put it on pole I’m happy.

"Not ecstatic because of course Lewis had bad luck and his car broke down so the fight didn’t happen, didn’t take place, but anyway, I’m pleased [about getting pole position]."

Rosberg said that his car hadn't experienced any similar problems with the ERS to those that sidelined Hamilton. An ignition problem at the end of Friday's FP1 session left him in 'limp home mode' but had been quickly fixed over the lunch break with no recurrence.

"I had an issue yesterday, so I need to look and try and understand that," he said. "Of course it's bad luck for Lewis today definitely."

Significantly Rosberg set his fastest Q2 time on soft tyres rather than supersofts, meaning he gets to start the Chinese Grand Prix tomorrow on the more durable compound

"For sure to start on that tyre it maybe gives me a bit of an advantage over the others.

"I’m not sure yet, I need to look in to it tonight," he added. "“I’m not really sure, I haven’t done the strategy stuff yet but I would think that is going to be a good thing yeah.

Rosberg beats Ricciardo to pole as Hamilton falls in Q1

AS IT HAPPENED: Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying

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