If you had said to us before Q3 that Nico Rosberg would nab pole position in Bahrain, we’d have laughed at you. And most probably ridiculed you too. That’s how much of a shock it was seeing Nico setting the fastest time on Saturday.
If anything, it was almost too good a lap.
The opening exchanges with Vettel and Alonso were great to watch, but what it did was expose the Mercedes for it’s flaws this season. It’s a great car over the course of one lap, but give it a set of tyres and ask it to make them last for 20 and it fails miserably.
It seems to be an inherent problem. Nico was at the sharp end for many an early race last season, but only made it count in China and Monaco. While his defence of position this year in Bahrain was a bit more subdued compared to his weaving of 2012, to have his teammate (who started 9th) finish in front of him must be extremely galling.
Pole was a great achievement, but getting it there cost him in the race. And points are only scored on a Sunday, remember.