• Chinese Grand Prix - FP2

Rosberg still expecting straight Mercedes duel

ESPN Staff
April 18, 2014 « Long-run pace could be key - Ricciardo | Mercedes still clear favourites - Vettel »
Nico Rosberg has not topped a practice session since Malaysia © Getty Images

Nico Rosberg is still expecting his main rival for victory in China to be Lewis Hamilton despite seeing the likes of Ferrari impress on Friday in China.

Fernando Alonso went well in both practice sessions, beating Rosberg to first in FP1, while both Red Bulls seemed to have made ground as well. But despite this Rosberg is still convinced his main rival for the podium is still the man the other side of his garage, though he remains wary of Ferrari.

"My main competitor is still my team-mate, and then the Ferrari is pretty quick today too," Rosberg said. "We have a great car here and we expect to win the race and to battle for the win. It will be a great challenge and we look forward to it.

"It's a good start to the weekend but we have to keep pushing as the Ferrari looks very close. It's a great feeling to be so fast and very enjoyable, I hope to be able to make it count with a win."

Rosberg admits half of the challenge for Sunday's race will be mastering a circuit which is different to any other of the flayaways so far.

"In general it's a very unique weekend here. Usually you always struggle with rear tyre wear, but here it's front tyre wear. The corners are so long and you are just waiting, waiting, waiting with so much energy going into it. Turn 1 is a tyre killer for example.

"Graining was very bad but no worse than I expected. I have got no idea but I think probably two or three pit stops will be the usual. I had oversteer but everybody has it because the circuit destroys the front tyres. Everybody has that problem so we need to figure a way around that."

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