Hamilton insisted the German's performance was no surprise however, and says he will need to work hard overnight to overhaul Rosberg's advantage ahead of the third Grand Prix of the season.
Q: Lewis, you were fastest in all three practice sessions but lost out to your team mate in qualifying. Does this upset you?
Lewis Hamilton: No, this is okay. I am happy for Nico, as he has worked hard all weekend long, and he just did a better job today. It seems that he has felt more and more comfortable in the car as we have gone through the weekend, and maybe it has been a little bit of the opposite for me. Even though the results of the free practices list me as first, I think he has been quicker than me on these days as well.
Nevertheless we are both on the front row and it will be an interesting race tomorrow. Hopefully I will do better then.
Q: Can you talk us through your flying laps in the final qualifying session?
LH: Well my first lap was okay, it wasn’t too bad, but the second one I had a bit of a bigger issue in Turn 1 and I simply didn’t have any chance to recover from that mistake. In every session I was losing a tenth and a half just out of Turn 1 into Turn 2, and I have to find out from the data why this is so. Nico did a great job this evening, but the good news is that we make up the front row - and I will definitely try to do it better tomorrow.
Q: It must be incredible to know that it is you and him against the rest…
LH: Yes, it is an incredible feeling. I really don’t know what to say except that it is amazing to see what the guys can do. They are working so hard to give Nico and me the car that gives us the chance to fight for the win at every race.
Q: Does the car feel different here than it did one week ago in Malaysia when it was hot and humid?
LH: It does. It is even different to running in the afternoon when it is a bit hotter. When it gets to late afternoon the dynamics of the track change, and that changes the behaviour of the car.
Q: Who or what can prevent you and Nico from claiming another one-two tomorrow?
LH: To be honest I haven’t been looking around so much - I’ve been focusing on my job. I don’t know what it will mean at the start that Daniel Ricciardo has received a penalty. Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez make now the second row, so let’s see how that will all work out.
Q: Will tyre degradation be an issue in the race?
LH: Yes, it will definitely be an issue. How much will depend on the temperature.
Q: Will you have to beat Nico straight at the start if you want to win the race?
LH: For sure this would help a lot. He has got a great pace, and has learned a lot from last week in Malaysia. So the gap that I had there should be much smaller - if not gone - and I need to try and find something new.
I hope that we will have the chance to fight for the race win. We have small differences in the set-up of our cars, and Nico has always done well here - he was quick last year - but the gap is a little bit smaller. This is the positive I can take from today.