Nico Rosberg says that Pirelli tyre degradation at Mercedes will be the key to the Chinese GP, which could permit Ferrari to threaten Mercedes’ opportunity of victory again.
Rosberg qualified second behind teammate Lewis Hamilton who led a front-row lockout for Mercedes, but was unable to prevent the Briton from taking his third successive pole by just four hundredths of a second.
“It’s going to be a very challenging race because we have the option [soft] tyre to start off with and that’s going to fall apart at some point quite dramatically,” said Rosberg.
“There is going to be a lot going on at that time of the race.
“The Ferraris might be able to go longer than us, as we have seen in Malaysia, so I wonder how that will play in with the strategy.
“Even with the prime [medium] tyre, it’s going to be on the edge. So tyre degradation wise it’s going to be an interesting race for us, and plenty of opportunities also, and that’s a great thing.”
“There’s been a race like Melbourne where there was no opportunity. I was very, very close, but the strategy, there was just one, there was no tyre degradation, so there was just no opportunity for me to take. Here tomorrow there’s many opportunities, and that’s a very good thing.”