• German Grand Prix - FP2

Rosberg eyeing tyre advantage after FP2

ESPN Staff
July 5, 2013 « Michael confident of no problems after FIA tyre advice | GPDA letter wasn't a threat - Vettel »
Nico Rosberg was second quickest in both sessions on Friday © Sutton Images
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Nico Rosberg says Mercedes is hoping to gain an advantage over its rivals by understanding the new Pirelli rear tyres the quickest ahead of the German Grand Prix.

Following the tyre failures at Silverstone, Pirelli has changed the rear tyres to incorporate a Kevlar belt rather than a steel one to prevent repeat problems. Rosberg says the tweaks could see a change in the pecking order and as a result Mercedes hopes to get the jump over the likes of Red Bull, Lotus and Ferrari.

"A good day in general," Rosberg said. "It was interesting because the tyres are different and we have to adapt with some set-up changes and some things like that. It's also an opportunity for us if we can understand them quicker than others to take another step compared to everybody else.

"It looks like still over one lap we're quite quick and also on the longer run a similar situation but it might still shuffle things around a little bit and it's enough. A few tenths here or there and you might see a different grid and a different race result again, but other than that it's a great track to drive on and a good day, good preparation for us."

Despite having run the new tyres throughout Friday, Rosberg said he wasn't yet certain if they would prevent more failures.

"I'm not sure yet but I'm confident that they have gone in the right direction and that we won't have tyres exploding left, right and centre. That's important."

Having gone from a dominant Mercedes one-two in FP1 to Sebastian Vettel setting the pace in the afternoon session, Rosberg said the team didn't lose any of its advantage.

"No not necessarily. It was good, both this morning and this afternoon and we're just learning our way again … it's difficult to see exactly how we're doing. Sunday will tell if we've been advantaged or disadvantaged but the soft tyres didn't last for very long, that's for sure."