Rosberg admits rivals' problems make race easier

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Nico Rosberg admits his chances of winning the Russian Grand Prix have been helped "a lot" by reliability problems for his main rivals.

Sebastian Vettel qualified second but will start from seventh as a result of a gearbox penalty, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton - Rosberg's only real threat for pole position - suffered a repeat of the power unit problems he had in China and failed to take part in Q3.

With Hamilton starting no higher than tenth on the grid, Rosberg admits the problems his rivals are facing makes his task easier on Sunday.

"At the moment I’m still happy how qualifying went because it felt awesome out there," Rosberg said. "The car was balanced perfectly and through the weekend we’ve just progressed so much. Then to hit in Q2 and from then on it was just going so well, that’s what I’m really pleased about.

"I haven’t thought too much about tomorrow yet but of course starting from pole position is great. It’s never easy but of course the way the grid is it does help me a lot for sure to try and get that win tomorrow."

Valtteri Bottas will start alongside Rosberg, with Kimi Raikkonen in third in the Ferrari and the championship leader is wary of the threat posed by both.

"Of course the others have been unfortunate today - extremely unfortunate - so that makes my race a little bit easier tomorrow but an F1 race is never easy. Even from where Sebastian is and where Kimi is and with Valtteri behind and everything the opposition is still there. So I still need to keep focused and try and get the job done as good as possible."

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