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New exhaust can close gap to frontrunners - Rosberg

ESPN Staff
September 26, 2012 « Petrov's F1 future in doubt | 'Mercedes offer him much greater freedom on the commercial side' »
Nico Rosberg: 'Maybe we can catch up a bit, which would be good' © Sutton Images

Nico Rosberg is confident Mercedes can start to close the gap to the front-running teams with its latest exhaust upgrade.

Mercedes is one of the last leading teams to adopt a Coanda exhaust that uses body work to direct gases towards the diffuser and boost rear downforce. It raced the new layout for the first time in Singapore, but Rosberg believes there is a lot of untapped potential to be gained from the upgrade.

"It was an exciting weekend for us as a team because we had quite a lot of new parts on the car," Rosberg told his YouTube channel. "It's a very complicated development we are doing there on the aerodynamics, with the exhaust gases pointed in a certain direction so you get hot air in the back of the car to create downforce so you can go faster through the corners.

"It's very difficult to direct that air in the right direction so we've found out now that it's going to take a while to really optimise it. Of course it already benefitted us, but it's going to take some time over the next days and weeks to get the most out of it. So I'm quite optimistic that we can extract a lot of potential out of that and the others are a bit advanced on that already so maybe we can catch up a bit, which would be good."

Rosberg finished fifth in Singapore and said the race pace was more in line with Mercedes' expectations than at recent events.

"Qualifying was not great for us and we were just not quick enough unfortunately. We need to try and understand that, but then the race, for the first time in a long time, everything worked out for me. I had a good start with new tyres, a good first stint, the tyre management was perfect. Just before coming to the pit stop my tyres were shot - not two laps before but just before - so it was ideal.

"The safety car came at the exact right moment as I was wanting to pit, so it all worked out really well and that's why I'm quite pleased with fifth place overall. In the end my car had an issue because I lost a lot of aerodynamics grip, the team noticed it on the computer - like 0.7s or 0.8s per lap - so that's why I was slower in the final stint. But all in all fifth place was okay and the best we could have done this weekend."

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