Nico Rosberg says Lewis Hamilton still a threat for China victory
World champion will take a five-place grid penalty in Shanghai
By William Esler
Last Updated: 14/04/16 10:45am
Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton will be a threat for victory in China despite the world champion's five-place grid penalty.
Hamilton can start no higher than sixth at the Shanghai International Circuit after being forced to change his gearbox which sustained damage in Bahrain.
However, Rosberg knows he cannot think victory is already secured and is predicting Hamilton to be running near the front quickly in Sunday's race.
"It is always a massive challenge out there and it will be again this weekend. Even Lewis with a five-place grid penalty is going to be a big threat," he told Sky Sports F1.
"How many times has he shown last year that when he starts ninth or whatever he is straight up to third? So definitely I am remaining fully focussed, I'm fighting for the win definitely, but it won't be an easy one for sure."
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It will be the first time since last year's Singapore GP that the two Mercedes cars haven't lined-up alongside each other on the front row of the grid - a run of qualifying dominance that stretches back eight races.
"It has been a good track to me for many years so I feel good coming here," said Hamilton.
"Naturally when you arrive in Shanghai and find out you're already going to be starting five places behind wherever I qualify is a kick in the goonies, but you just take it. Challenge is another opportunity to arise, rather than looking at the glass half empty, look at it half full."
Rosberg currently holds a 17-point advantage at the top of the table having won the opening two grands prix of 2016, despite Hamilton starting from pole.
Watch the Chinese GP weekend - LIVE ONLY on Sky Sports F1. The race starts at 7am on Sunday, with build-up underway from 5.30am. Or watch without a contract for £6.99 on NOW TV.
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