Despite finishing as the fastest driver during the second free practice session for this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, Nico Rosberg has revealed that the hot and humid conditions are creating problems that he is eager to resolve overnight.
The German driver finished ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel in FP2 on Friday afternoon in Malaysia, but he made no secret of his problems at one of the hottest races of the seasons.
“It was crazy conditions out there,” Rosberg explained. “In the very, very warm temperatures, it’s a huge challenge to get everything right. The cars are on the edge and the tyre degradation was higher than expected today – we are sliding a bit more this year, perhaps because of the reduced downforce levels.”
The regulation changes for 2014 have seen many drivers struggle to get to grips with their new cars, but Mercedes appears to be in the best position. Nevertheless, Rosberg – who is chasing his fifth grand prix victory this weekend – still believes that progress needs to be made.
“We are still having some small issues and therefore we were not able to maximize everything today,” he said. “The quickest teams seem to be closer together than in Australia, so we still have work to do overnight to improve our level of performance.”
Interestingly, Rosberg made similar comments following practice for the Australian Grand Prix two weeks ago, but he went on to win the race by over 20 seconds on Sunday in what was one of his finest performances yet. Should he win the race this weekend, he would equal his father’s tally for grand prix victories in Formula 1.