Nico Rosberg has ruled out Mercedes challenging the Red Bull cars over the Indian Grand Prix weekend. He believes Mercedes are only battling for third place due to the dominance of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber.
The German driver completed 63 laps over the three hours of track time, finishing third in the morning session and setting the sixth fastest time in second practice. He felt that it was a difficult day at the office after struggling to find a good set-up.
“That was quite a tough day for us: we learned a lot but still have a lot of work ahead tonight so that I can find the best set-up,” he said. “Generally, it seems that the main question this weekend is who can get third position behind the two Red Bulls, because they look pretty unstoppable at this circuit. But I’m confident we will have a role to play in that battle tomorrow and on Sunday.”
Team-mate Lewis Hamilton completed his day of running with a fifth place finish in practice two, one place behind where he finished in the first practice results. The Brit feels that progress has been made and performance of the car feels good, although he found that tyre wear was high on the soft tyre.
“We made some good progress over the two practice sessions today,” he said after the second 90 minute session. “This morning wasn’t so good but we completed a lot of laps this afternoon and made some good progress. It’s difficult to get the set-up right here and this circuit is pretty tough on the tyres so I think everyone was struggling with the soft compound. Our car feels pretty good at this early stage but there are definitely some areas we can improve overnight.”
He is hoping for a strong qualifying performance and is targeting a podium finish on Sunday: “We’re working towards a strong qualifying performance tomorrow afternoon, ideally on the second row, and then hopefully a place on the podium, that would be nice.”
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