• Singapore Grand Prix

Rosberg cautious over Mercedes upgrades

ESPN Staff
September 20, 2012 « Button enjoying team-mate speculation | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Mercedes tested a new exhaust update at Magny-Cours last week © Sutton Images
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Nico Rosberg says Mercedes' latest updates might not provide the quick fix the team needs in order to fight at the front at this weekend's Singapore Grand Prix.

Mercedes tested a new exhaust upgrade at the Magny-Cours Young Driver Test last week and is planning to run further tests on the new parts during Friday practice in Singapore. However, Rosberg is not getting too excited about the updates until they prove themselves in a competitive session.

"Excited? Well we need to be careful with that word," he said. "In general there are changes, some rather big changes on the car, but it's a process that we'll see how we get on with it and how beneficial it is, especially on this track with these temperatures.

"It's not an easy thing; it's not just a case of putting it on the car and it working. There can be some tweaking that needs to be done and it's quite a complicated system, obviously. It's not necessarily a learning weekend but you need to approach it with damped expectations."

Asked for specifics about the new updates, he said: "Ah, here it gets interesting… (laughs) New exhausts, for example. That should help with more contact pressure and hence support the aero side. I tried it on Monday in the simulator and that was really kind of strange, because you do your simulator work and then you get told that your engineers will put the new exhausts on the 'virtual' car. They type some numbers into the computer and there you go - the new parts are on the car! And you really feel it - it is just like in reality how the car has changed."

Rosberg said updates coming to the car are not only designed for this year's W03, but also to ensure next year's Mercedes is competitive from the start of the season.

"We're pushing to improve the car and getting closer to the people that a winning the races at the moment. That's what we're trying to do and how quickly it's going to work and if it's going to work at all we don't know because everybody else I'm sure is pushing too because they're fighting for the championship. We'll have to see but I think we are taking some big measures at the moment to modify the car and also in preparation for next year as well. These things will all help for next year as well and it's important that we make a big step in performance."

Rosberg won his first race at the start of the 2012 season in China and admitted he had felt some disappointment that he has not been able to repeat that result since.

"It's not difficult, but of course it's been a lighter version of disappointment, a very light version of that. We were on a big upward trend and we actually continued that at Monaco with second place and being the fastest car there. Our car was the best that weekend, so we did continue the trend, but after that it tailed off a bit. We were all hoping and thought it would continue like that and now we're trying to turn it around again."