• Australian Grand Prix

Rosberg disappointed by tyre wear

ESPNF1 Staff
March 18, 2012 « Alonso relieved to finish fifth | Schumacher explains retirement cause »
Nico Rosberg was running as high as fourth early on but ended the race 12th © Getty Images

Nico Rosberg said Mercedes "weren't where we wanted to be" in the Australian Grand Prix due to tyre degradation issues.

The W03 appeared to use its tyres more quickly than its rivals during pre-season testing, and that turned out to be the case in Australia as Rosberg slipped backwards out of contention for points late on. Rosberg admitted that Mercedes had hoped to be competitive during the race following a strong qualifying, but said it would have to look in to the reasons why it was off the pace.

"[There was] a lot going on," Rosberg said. "Unfortunately car wise we weren't there where we wanted to be, so not quite good enough. I don't know, balance and I think we're wearing the tyres also more than other people. So we're struggling a bit and we need to look in to that and learn what we can. I'm sure we'll bounce back next weekend."

Rosberg also said that he was looking forward to recovering in Malaysia and said there was a lot that Mercedes can learn.

"My start was great so thanks to my engineer, he did a fantastic start moving from seventh to fourth or wherever I was, so that was nice. From then on it was a bit more difficult but as Ross [Brawn] would say 'Onwards and upwards' to the next race.

"You can do a lot for sure because it's early days and there's so many new things on the car you need to have a good analysis about what's going on. Also setup wise there's so much you can do. It's also a different track, different circumstances so it could all look very different."

Rosberg's points-scoring finish was lost on the final lap, and he revealed it was a racing incident with Perez that cost him.

"Just a bit unfortunate, we just touched on the straight so his front wing clipped my rear wheel and that was it, so I got a puncture."