• Italian GP - FP2

Rosberg concerned by Mercedes race pace

ESPN Staff
September 5, 2014 « Hamilton couldn't sleep after Spa | Hamilton relying on Rosberg's data for set-up »
Nico Rosberg says the new Parabolica run off area alters his mindset approaching the corner © Sutton Images

Nico Rosberg thinks Mercedes should be quickest in qualifying but is concerned about the race pace of the likes of Williams after Friday practice of the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.

Rosberg was third in the morning but then topped Lewis Hamilton in the afternoon, edging out his team-mate and title rival by 0.06s in FP2. The race pace of Ferrari, McLaren and Williams, especially, looked impressive however and Rosberg believes this is an area Mercedes needs to work on overnight.

"Yep, all feeling OK, it's been a good day today," Rosberg said when asked how Friday went. "The others seem to be a little bit closer so we need work hard today to optimise everything tomorrow.

"Our car seems to be better on one lap than on the long run so it's long run that we need to work on to make sure we are quickest there. Everything is a bit closer so I think we still are looking very, very good but we need to work hard this evening to optimise everything."

Statistics suggest pole is more important at Monza than at Monaco - a circuit fabled for its limited overtaking opportunities - but Rosberg says Mercedes cannot rely on its one-lap pace in Italy.

"Not really more, because I didn't really know that statistic," Rosberg said when asked if he felt pole was most important at Monza. "I'm not into those statistics so much. Here qualifying is important but in the race you can overtake so it's important to be good at both.

Of course yes, the starting position is a big advantage and if we can keep the advantage we seem to have over one lap here then that would be great. In general I wasn't 100% happy with the car today, there's still some work to do tonight. In the long run it seemed that quite a lot of teams were quite a lot closer. It's balance that I need to work on this evening."

Rosberg also admits the new run-off area at the Parabolica meant he took a different approach to the entry of the corner than previous years.

"All I can say is that this morning, for example, I was taking more risks - braking later and see how it goes, because I know if I go wide it's no problem. That's definitely different. It used to be if you made a mistake…."

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