• Canadian Grand Prix - FP2

Rosberg expecting tight battle for pole

ESPN Staff
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Nico Rosberg: "It looks quite tight out there in general" © Getty Images

Nico Rosberg is expecting a tougher battle for pole position at the Canadian Grand Prix this weekend after a tight Friday afternoon practice session.

Rosberg ended up fifth fastest, but his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton was just 0.012s off the fastest time set by Fernando Alonso. Mercedes has taken pole at the last four races with Rosberg starting from the front of the grid at the last three, but he is expecting a tighter battle in Montreal.

"It looks quite tight out there in general," he said. "Fortunately I'm feeling good with the car in the rain and in the dry, so from that point of view it doesn't really matter but for sure it is going to be tough. I think maybe this track has brought things closer together because it's just very different and has lower downforce. We'll see."

Mercedes biggest weakness this year has been degradation, and while Rosberg was still struggling with his tyres in Friday practice, he said graining is a problem for all the teams in Canada.

"Long-run pace I'm not sure yet, but obviously there is a big problem with graining out there so tyre degradation is quite big. We know that that's the case in Montreal so we will have to analyse how it went and try to optimise the car. It really is down to race pace, weather and if it all comes together, but I think I can have a good weekend."