Nico Rosberg said that Daniel Ricciardo “is going to be a threat” as the Australian starts alongside him on the front row for Sunday’s Singapore Grand Prix.
Rosberg scorched to a blistering pole position at the Marina Bay circuit Saturday, half a second faster then Ricciardo’s Red Bull who will begin the 61-lap race on the supersoft tyre, whereas Rosberg will utilise the ultrasoft.
Asked if he was worried about the Red Bull employing a different strategy, Rosberg said: “Worried, no, but I will be keeping an eye on him.
“They were quick on race pace on Friday and I think probably more so than on the qualifying pace. So for sure he is going to be a threat, especially with that supersoft tyre.”
Lewis Hamilton leads his Mercedes teammate by just two points in the world championship standings, but could only manage third on the grid.
Rosberg is gunning for a hat-trick of victories since the end of the summer break that would enable him to leapfrog Hamilton at the top.
“I’ve kind of been on the back foot all year long so there’s no real difference to me,” said Hamilton.
“I’ll do the best job I can from there and try and fight my way through,” added the English triple world champion, who at one stage was 43 points behind Rosberg and turned that into a 19-point lead before the summer break.
“It’s a very hard track to overtake so you’re usually stuck where you are but there’s lots of safety cars at this race so lots can happen.”
Ricciardo agreed. “There will be some curveballs I’m sure tomorrow with safety cars and whatnot but yeah, at least we’re at the pointy end,” said the Australian.
Ricciardo has yet to top the podium in 2016 as the Mercedes pair have dominated with 13 wins in the 14 races so far.
“Hopefully I’ll stay out of trouble and then try and get that victory this year,” Ricciardo added.