After a difficult start to the weekend on Friday, he was pleased with the improvements made in the shortened final practice session and his lap in top 10 shoot-out.
“I’m pleased with third place today as it’s been a tough weekend to get the car set up and squeeze as much performance as possible from it”, he said. “The team have done a great job to make progress since Friday and I’m delighted for everyone to see both Nico and I in the top three today. It was a good lap although I lost maybe a little bit of time at the last corner.”
Looking ahead to the race, the 28-year-old is looking to get rid of the less durable soft tyre as soon as possible: “Of course, tomorrow is what counts and the race will be difficult with the different strategies and tyre choices. We’ll hope for a good start, get rid of the softs early and then focus on pushing as hard as we can on the primes.”
Team-mate Nico Rosberg was the lead Mercedes on Saturday afternoon and was similarly pleased with his performance. He believes that the 60-lap race will be a tough one, particularly to keep the second Red Bull of Mark Webber behind on a different strategy, but he will give it 100%.
He said: “We have tried a lot of different things in the practice sessions this weekend to try and find an extra one or two tenths and I found a good set-up with my guys so I’m happy with our work so far. I just wanted to qualify ‘best of the rest’ today so I’m really happy with second place and starting on the front row.”
Discussing the race ahead he added: “The race will be tough against Mark tomorrow, though, as he has the quicker car and is on a different strategy, but we’ll give it our all. For our team, the most important thing is to score as many points as possible so we can secure second place in the Constructors’ Championship at the end of the year.”
Image courtesy of Octane Photographic