• Italian Grand Prix - FP2

Rosberg pleased with improved balance

ESPN Staff
September 7, 2012 « Hamilton praises team for 'great car' | Monza suits Mercedes - Schumacher »
Nico Rosberg was in the top five in both free practice sessions on Friday © Press Association
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Nico Rosberg put Mercedes' improved showing in practice for the Italian Grand Prix down to a better balance on the W03.

Rosberg was third in the first session as his team-mate Michael Schumacher set the pace, and then fifth in FP2 - just 0.156s slower than Lewis Hamilton. Having finished 11th in Belgium, Rosberg said the car was feeling a lot better at Monza and that he was already targeting a large points haul on Sunday.

"Yeah it was generally a quite good start, definitely better than Spa," Rosberg said. "Of course we don't want to be too optimistic just because of today as it's a Friday, but it feels a lot better to drive and the balance is better.

"Everything is a little bit better, braking is a little bit better, the balance in all those long- and medium-speed corners is better. It makes it all the more enjoyable then because in Spa the balance wasn't right and it feels good so I think it's possible to do a lot of points this weekend."

While Mercedes has had tyre usage issues in the past, Rosberg said the tyres would be a challenge again this weekend and he is unsure as to what the best strategy will be.

"There is a difference; the hard is more difficult to warm up so the lap times on the hard are done at the very end when there is not a lot of fuel. But on the first lap there is a lot of difference ... Strategy wise it will be one or two-stop so it will be interesting to see what everybody does."