- United States Grand Prix - Qualifying
Reverting to old exhaust costly for Rosberg
Nico Rosberg blamed his poor qualifying performance at the US Grand Prix on a gamble he and Mercedes made to run a three-month old exhaust on his car.
On Friday Mercedes ran a comparison, with the old exhaust layout on Rosberg's car and its latest Coanda-effect exhaust on Michael Schumacher's car. In final practice Rosberg used the new system but reverted back to the old exhaust for qualifying and ended up 17th; 12 places behind Schumacher with the new version.
"Pace wise was very good this weekend, but we were trying our car from three months ago effectively," Rosberg explained. "On Friday we tried it but with different tyres and not for one lap, but for a long run and we were not too far off Michael's car, which he was using today. Then this morning I had the current car but we decided to give it a go and for qualifying and changed back to the older version because we thought it shouldn't be too different and maybe there is something we can learn for the race. So we did that and it's thrown me much further back than expected.
"It's very surprising to lose that much performance and especially with these tyres when you go a bit slower it just tips you over the edge and then you are nowhere. That was definitely very surprising so that's the negative."
Rosberg is now stuck with the old system for the rest of the weekend but he believes he will be more competitive on race pace.
"The positive is that we learned something and the positive is also that if you look at what I did and what Michael did then, yes, we are doing well in development and we are moving forward. Unfortunately the others are moving forward too, but after our little drop in the mid-season we have developed and we are pushing on and there is evidence of that today. So that's also a positive, and you never know, maybe the race will be better. One of the reasons we did it was in the hope that the race would be better and maybe in the race I can be very strong. It didn't feel like it today but we'll have to see."