Nico Rosberg delivered a sharp reply to Jenson Button’s comments about Lewis Hamilton, strongly disagreeing with his assessment.
Hamilton entered the final qualifying session of the season as the favourite for pole position. Momentum was on his side after taking three wins in the last three races, slashing rival Max Verstappen’s championship lead completely.
However, it was a bit of a surprise to see Verstappen pip Hamilton to pole position by five-tenths of a second. It is a setback for Sunday, but the seven-time world champion has made a habit of laughing at challenges, so it should be an exciting watch.
Former world champion Button reckoned the Mercedes driver did not do well for his high standards, something the 2016 world champion disagreed with.
“It probably wasn’t his (Hamilton’s) best qualifying session, but for Lewis a bad qualifying session is still up there with our best,” he had said after the qualifying session.
Rosberg delivered a sharp reply to Button’s comments, and said that it was a phenomenal lap bettered by a more impressive one.
“I think that is rubbish,” the German said, as quoted by express.co.uk.
“In my view, he delivered a great lap today. He said himself, the lap was clean.
“And let’s not forget where his teammate (Valtteri Bottas) is. But the other guy (Verstappen) pulled out something magical,” he concluded.
Two enter, one leaves
Ideally, Verstappen’s pole position would be a huge advantage at a track like Yas Marina. However, the problem he finds himself in is that he will start the race on soft tyres, while his rival will do so on mediums.
Given how the life of the faster tyres is shorter, the Dutchman will most certainly have to pit early. This will give Hamilton a free chance at beating the undercut, and should he take it, it will be game over for Verstappen.
It all comes down to nailing the start and establishing a gap to Hamilton. Should the Red Bull driver ride off into the lead, Hamilton will find it tricky to get past him.
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