Former Formula One world champion Nico Rosberg heaped praise on Fernando Alonso, who demonstrated a blistering performance in qualifying for the Bahrain Grand Prix. In an interview with Sky Sports F1, Rosberg discussed the Spaniard’s performance as well as Ferrari’s strategy, and his predictions for the race podium.
“This is also a great story of today and yesterday. Fernando in the Aston Martin was so fast. He beat Mercedes and had a chance of beating one of the Ferraris as well,” Rosberg said. Rosberg also feels Alonso could be a podium contender in Sunday’s race, citing his impressive long runs during practice.
“We have to keep an eye on him today because we know that his long runs in practice were also very special. He is also looking forward and is not worried about Mercedes. He is trying to hunt down the Ferraris,” he explained.
Aston Martin impressed the paddock in the testing and in practice, and the German feels that the English team is in an excellent position to score some points and even stand on the podium in the first race.
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Rosberg Talks about Ferrari’s “Odd” Qualifying Strategy and his Podium Picks
Rosberg was taken aback by Ferrari‘s plan to conserve a new set of soft tyres for the race. He called it an “odd decision” and speculated that the team may be concerned about their race pace. “I don’t think you’d normally do that. I mean, when you are in a fight for pole, you suddenly just stand in the garage and save a new set of tyres. That’s not normal. You usually go out and get the grid position and try and aim for pole position,” Rosberg said.
However, Rosberg was heartened by the fact that Ferrari was only a tenth of a second slower than Red Bull in Q3. “On the first run, they were only one-tenth off Red Bull. It was very close, and that’s reassuring for us in terms of starting the season. Ferrari is very close to Red Bull,” he said.
When asked about his podium prediction for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Rosberg listed Max Verstappen as the favorite, followed by Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso, rounding out the top three. “Max is the favourite, Perez is looking good, and I would love to see Alonso on the podium,” he said.
With the field being very close, it will be exciting to watch how the race unfolds. All eyes will be on Alonso to see if he can convert his impressive qualifying performance into a strong finish on race day.
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