Mercedes put their Singapore struggles behind them during qualifying at Suzuka on Saturday, much to pole-sitter Nico Rosberg’s delight.
Going by their usual lofty high standards, the reigning World Champions endured a nightmare weekend at the Marina Bay Street Circuit as their cars were only fifth and sixth fastest in qualy while Rosberg’s P4 on the Sunday was their best effort on race day.
Fast-forward a week and normal service has resumed as Rosberg claimed pole with a 1:32.584, ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton while Valtteri Bottas of Williams was third.
The German was quick to praise the team for turning things around so quickly.
“Great day today and also a good comeback for the team. It’s fantastic after such a difficult weekend in Singapore to be back to our usual strength,” he said.
“Great car so very thankful for that. [We] really turned things around and optimised everything for this track. Great position for tomorrow.”
Drivers had limited running on Friday due to wet conditions so they all had busy programmes in the dry in FP3 on Saturday morning, but Rosberg is happy with his car’s set-up ahead of Sunday’s race.
“I am confident that the car is going to be good, but as for everybody, we didn’t have the perfect preparation so there might be a few surprises tomorrow,” he added.
“I’m confident, though, that I found a good balance. So should be fine.”