Nico Rosberg stormed to the top of the timesheets in the second free practice session for the British Grand Prix and although the Mercedes driver is pleased with his performance, he conceded that there is still work to do.
“It’s been a good day pace wise, for sure,” Rosberg explained. “For qualifying, I think I can do the job again. That’s a nice start to the weekend.”
Once again though, Rosberg admitted that he was struggling with the W04’s long run pace which saw him fail to convert pole position into a victory at the Bahrain and Spanish Grands Prix.
“We did a long run this afternoon and it was looking- okay not great and that’s going to be the big challenge for us, long runs on this track.”
Rosberg did confirm that some of the upgrades applied to the car were intended to aid its tire wear.
“There are further pieces again that are on the car to help with tire degradation, we hope it’s the right thing to do. Today was difficult to learn much about it but we’ll see as the weekend goes on and especially in the race. I’m sure we’re on the right track.”
Indeed, the wet weather curtailed running in FP1 and made any evaluation impossible. Rosberg did extend his sympathy to the fans who had braved the conditions, although he also made his reservations over the FIA’s introduction of an ‘FP1 tire’ for next season clear.
“It was a bit disappointing for the fans today. They paid a lot of money and then we don’t run, so it would be worth looking into that [extra set of tires].
“But what to do, I don’t know, because we already have that extra set of tires as it is. It’s just the fact that we don’t really want to risk things going out in the wet when it’s going to be dry all weekend and it’s things like engine degredation. We only have a limited amount of engines for the season, and any extra laps that we do, we lose power, so you don’t want to do any useless laps on the engine either.”
It is clear that, once again, Mercedes will be competitive in qualifying, but as they have already found out this season, it means little if the race pace is not there on Sunday.