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Rosberg pinning hopes on qualifying

ESPN Staff
May 17, 2013 « Ferrari slams tyre criticism | Caterham not getting full potential »
Nico Rosberg was unable to hold on to the lead beyond the first stint in Barcelona © Sutton Images
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Nico Rosberg admits Mercedes' qualifying pace could be the key to success at next weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

After securing a front-row lock-out in Barcelona last weekend, both Mercedes cars slipped back in the race as they struggled with their tyres overheating. Rosberg dropped back from pole position to sixth place, but having qualified second in Monaco last year and with overtaking almost impossible on the street circuit he believes Mercedes could benefit from a strong Saturday.

"The surroundings definitely make Monaco the coolest track on the calendar and the atmosphere over the weekend is great," Rosberg said. "I have good memories from the race last year after finishing in second place and I hope we can get another good result this time around.

"At the moment we have a good car for qualifying which helps in Monaco as it's the most important qualifying session of the year as track position is so important. So that might be helpful for us but there are so many unknowns, especially with the tyres, so we will just have to wait and see."

However, Toto Wolff warned against complacency that a front-row grid slot would automatically transfer in to a strong race result.

"The narrow streets will give our drivers the perfect opportunity to display their talents and, historically, the team's cars have performed strongly there in terms of pure speed," Wolff said. "However, it is clear to everybody in the team that, while we have a strong car right now, we are not able to use that performance properly on Sunday afternoon.

"Although overtaking in Monaco is difficult, we cannot afford to be complacent in terms of tyre management and we will need to do significantly better than we managed in Barcelona in order to score a strong result. We have only scored points with one of our cars at the past three races and this is something we must improve quickly, beginning next weekend in Monte-Carlo."