Nico Rosberg insists Q3 no-show was best way to approach Indian GP qualifying
German says it made sense to save final set of new softs for race day
Last Updated: 27/10/12 1:32pm
Nico Rosberg: Played the strategy game in Q3
Nico Rosberg has defended Mercedes' decision to sit out Q3 in India, the German insisting it was the most logical strategy for his race chances.
While team-mate Michael Schumacher endured a forgettable qualifying session and will start down in 14th place, Rosberg looked well placed to challenge for the top eight on the grid after making it through to the top-ten shootout in a strong sixth place.
However, rather than try and go for the highest grid slot possible come Q3, Mercedes elected to save the German's final set of soft tyres and simply send him out to set sector times on a used set of hards.
With 10th place on the grid the net result, Rosberg is free to start on whatever tyres he chooses on Sunday and admitted afterwards said that the possibility to run the opening stint on fresh rubber compared with the cars ahead was too great a temptation to turn up.
"In terms of our strategy for the race, it was better for us not to run in Q3 as it should give us a better pace tomorrow with fresh tyres," he said.
"Of course it's not a nice feeling to be waiting in the pits and watching the others out there however. It seems that the race will be tough on the tyres with very long stints, so I should have an advantage compared to the cars in front of me.
"I'll be able to tell you tomorrow if it was the right decision but I'm reasonably happy today as we looked like we have made a small improvement here."
Mercedes team chief Ross Brawn added that fact the car's best times were only being set after several laps anway had played heavily into their thinking.
"After Q2, it was clear that seventh place was the maximum we could achieve with Nico, and his pace had been strongest on used tyres," he said.
"However, we preferred not to go into the race on a set of used soft tyres which had already completed up to ten laps, as this would limit our strategic options. With a view to tomorrow, we therefore decided not to run in Q3 which will give us the choice of a fresh set of either tyre for our opening stint."