• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Rosberg hails Mercedes' progress

ESPN Staff
November 3, 2012 « Alonso 'squeezed all of the performance out of the car' | Raikkonen focused on crucial start »
Nico Rosberg: "Qualifying worked out well for us today as P8 was our target" © Sutton Images
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Nico Rosberg thinks Mercedes has made a step forward at this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after he qualified eighth and ahead of one of the Lotuses and one of the Ferraris.

Mercedes has not scored a single point at the last three races and has gradually been losing ground to the front runners. However, the car looked more competitive in Abu Dhabi with Rosberg able to vie for positions with the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso in qualifying, gaining a further place when Sebastian Vettel was excluded from the results.

"Qualifying worked out well for us today as P8 [before Vettel's exclusion] was our target and we were able to achieve that position," he said. "I'm ahead of a Ferrari and a Lotus so that's a good step, and we have made some improvements with our set-up work this weekend.

"Thanks to my mechanics today who did a great job to fix an issue with the brakes just before qualifying and make sure that the car was ready in time. It won't be an easy task for us to move up the field tomorrow but I'm looking forward to the race and to seeing what we can achieve."

But Rosberg said there was a high chance that Sunday's race could be another procession.

"Possibly it will be similar to India," he added. "That's unfortunate because when we look at the mid-season there was a lot going on with tyres and everything and probably for the spectators that was more fun. But you never know and we have to wait and see how things turn out tomorrow, but for sure the tyres are lasting longer at the moment in general."