Nico Rosberg is anticipating an exciting battle between Mercedes and Ferrari in the Bahrain GP – and the German stresses that the tyre rules mean that it will be hard to second guess exactly what his main rivals will do.
The use of three tyre compounds this year, plus the different allocations chosen by each team, has ensured that a variety of strategic permutations could work.
However this weekend it’s a little clearer at the front as the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers are all heading into the race with one new set of mediums, and two new sets of softs.
“It is going to be a tough one for sure,” he said when asked by this writer. “A lot can go on with the three different tyres, and all three will probably be used as well, for us in our case. It will for sure be an interesting race, strategy wise as well. And a lot of overtaking with different people in different situations with their tyres.”
Rosberg said that Mercedes wasn’t just eyeing Sebastian Vettel: “There’s Kimi as well, he had one of his greatest races here last year if I remember correctly, so for sure we’re keeping an eye on him. It’s great if it’s a four-way battle with Ferrari. That will be a great race, and there’s a very good chance that will be the case.”
The factor that may work against Ferrari is that Mercedes believes that the W07 benefited from cooler temperatures as qualifying went on, and that will also apply to the race.
“I think we got pretty good laps in at the end of Q3 as well, that’s part of it, and then temperatures dropping, getting a bit colder, maybe that was good for us. I’m not sure, it’s difficult to explain. It surprised us as well.”
Regarding Hamilton’s extra pace in qualifying he said: “Lewis did his homework very well.”