• Belgian GP- FP2

Mercedes struggling compared to last year - Rosberg

ESPN Staff
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Nico Rosberg says Mercedes is struggling for pace around Spa-Francorchamps compared to last season despite the fact its drivers went one-two in both Friday practice sessions.

On a drying track in qualifying last year Lewis Hamilton took pole and Rosberg qualified fourth and on the return to Spa this year Mercedes was once again well clear its rivals on a Friday. Rosberg topped the morning session but fell behind Hamilton in FP2, though he says the team is far from feeling comfortable with its set-up so far.

"We are actually slower this year in the corners than last year - last year we had more grip so the corners felt better," Rosberg said. "But relative to the others I'm sure our car feels great here and we're going strong here today. Today went according to plan, it was OK.

"It's difficult here because to be quick here you have to run less downforce to be quick on the straights , which means our car is sliding more in the corners and that means it's more difficult to drive and a bit unusual - less grip in general. It takes a bit of adapting and finding the right set up, but all in all we are going in the right direction."

Rosberg thinks it is too early to make a judgement on who will be Mercedes' main rivals for the rest of the weekend but he is wary of Red Bull springing a surprise.

"I'm not really sure yet. It's a bit of a mixture, all of a sudden the Red Bulls are quick on the straights in some circumstances which is awkward, so it will be an interesting evening trying to analyse everything and try to nail it for tomorrow, and also getting the compromise right between qualifying and the race."

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