Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg believes that his team are now the favourites for victory going into this week’s German Grand Prix. However team mate Lewis Hamilton disagrees.
Speaking in a Mercedes phone in from Stuttgart, Rosberg said,
“Fortunately yes, we are slowly but surely we are dropping into the role of being favourites,” said Rosberg. “Which is fantastic as such. The development rate during the season, which was our weakness in the past, seems to be going well at the moment. It’s a fantastic momentum we have in the team at the moment.”
“I don’t think we are favourites,” said Hamilton, despite acknowledging that the development rate of Mercedes is “impressive”. “I think Red Bull are still the favourites, they are leading the championships but we are improving and getting closer to them.”
Mercedes F1 team CEO said that Mercedes has the two best drivers but hedged his bets; “there will be other tracks linked to ambient temperatures where we are going to struggle a bit. This is in the DNA of the car.”
“Nico has proved that we can win with the car so I’m sure that at some stage a win will come,” said a subdued Hamilton.
The Englishman was very outspoken on Sunday night about the tyre failures, questioning whether anything would be done to improve safety and wondering if it might take someone getting hurt before something is done.
Today he said he was “satisfied” with the changes that had been made, “But when we get there we will see; everyone is in the same boat. I’m glad that action has been taken,” he added. “It is still a concern. We need to see how it goes, but I’m sure they have taken the rights steps.”
On the subject of swapping the tyres around from side to side, Wolff said, “Lots of teams swapped the tyres and did this for many race. There is quite a bandwidth on tyre pressures you are entitled to use. So I guess Pirelli are going to be more clear on advising the teams in terms of camber, tyre pressures and swapping the rear tyres.”
Both of the drivers would commit on whether the change of tyres would hurt Mercedes’ competitiveness, but Rosberg said, “We don’t have much experience on these tyres, we ran them in Montreal, but I’m confident that with the car we have it doesn’t matter much which tyres we have. IN general we have a very quick car so I’m confident we can stay where we are, more or less.”