• Australian Grand Prix

Racing against Lewis will make me stronger - Rosberg

ESPN Staff
March 14, 2013 « Mercedes doing 'a fantastic job' - Hamilton | Home victory would be 'sensational' for Webber »
Nico Rosberg: "It's a huge challenge with him coming here" © Sutton Images
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Mercedes' Nico Rosberg believes it will be a "huge challenge" going up against team-mate Lewis Hamilton this year but thinks it will make him a better driver.

After beating Michael Schumacher at Mercedes for three consecutive years, Rosberg faces Hamilton in 2013. After testing alternate days during the pre-season, on Thursday Rosberg said he is looking forward to seeing how he stacks up against his new team-mate in Australia.

Asked if he felt as though he was under less pressure because Hamilton is the one coming into the team with the weight of expectation hanging over him, he said: "It's always important to beat your team-mate. But my team-mate is one of the best so how is that going to take pressure off?

"It's a huge challenge with him coming here and that's what I'm here for - those sorts of changes."

He added: "We get on well and he's one of the best out there so it's going to be a good challenge. For sure also there is always something that my team-mate does better than me and vice-a-versa and I'm very keen on trying to understand that and try to maybe improve myself as a result. I'm always analysing and trying to become a better driver myself. I'm going to try and do that again, as I did with Michael also."

He said Mercedes had worked hard over the winter to solve the two main issues with the 2012 car.

"Last year we had two main weaknesses. One was the rear tyre degradation that hurt us in the first two races but didn't in winter testing. We understand that a lot better and definitely we've made a lot of progress there. How good we are I don't know, and for sure it's going to be a huge challenge this year with tyre degradation being big. The second thing was that our development rate was not good last year and it was a bit flat, especially through the middle part of the season. Those are the two factors we need to improve on and we know we have."