• Russian GP - FP2

Rosberg unhappy with 'creative' Mercedes set-up

ESPN Staff
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A mistake in FP3 prevented Nico Rosberg from challenging Lewis Hamilton's benchmark © Sutton Images
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Nico Rosberg says an experimental set-up on his car did not work the way Mercedes had hoped after completing the first practice sessions for the inaugural Russian Grand Prix.

Rosberg topped the morning session on Friday but failed to string together a clean lap during his qualifying runs in FP2 as he finished fourth, with team-mate Lewis Hamilton going fastest by nearly eight tenths. A mistake at Turn 17 prevented Rosberg completing a time to compare with Hamilton's, but the German admits he has a few things to consider overnight in order to rectify that mistake in FP3 and qualifying on Saturday.

It seemed the second and even third runs on the soft tyre were quicker for drivers, and when asked about how much the track evolved over the session Rosberg replied: "A lot! The whole track was very unique today, not just the layout but the way the tyres worked and everything - very unusual. That makes it very interesting from an engineering perspective because it's unlike any other track we've seen this year.

"We even went as far as trying something completely creative on my car, something we've not done so far. It didn't work out so I have to go back on that but still, it's going to be a challenging weekend. We decided as a team that one guy does that, one guy does that. My thing didn't work out so we need to go back on that tomorrow. Other than that's it's OK, it's a good track, a difficult track to get right. Nobody managed to do it on the first lap, you have to build up on it."

Despite his mistake during qualifying simulation, Rosberg added: "Lewis was definitely quick so I'm still hoping we have the fastest car this weekend."

Rosberg believes the Sochi Autodrom circuit is a unique challenge for the drivers because of the way tyres seemed to behave over the first three hours of practice running.

"It seems that there's no tyre degradation here, which we need for overtaking. I think it's going to be quite difficult to overtake. It might even be a one-stop [race] because there's no degradation, the tyres just stay the same. We need to review all that. Definitely it's all a bit unusual here so we need to be a bit creative."

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