• Spanish Grand Prix - FP2

Rosberg thinks tyres are 'a big mission'

ESPN Staff
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Nico Rosberg was half a second off the pace in FP2 © Getty Images
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Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes has made progress and is "there or thereabouts" ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix, but says tyre preservation will be "a big mission".

Having qualified on pole position in Bahrain, Rosberg suffered badly in the race and slipped back to ninth position. After finishing FP2 in Barcelona with the seventh quickest time, Rosberg was encouraged with the pace shown by Mercedes but warned tyre wear was likely to be the main focus for the team on Saturday.

"The car was decent; it's completely different conditions to winter testing - with the wind as well it felt all over the place - but it was a good day for us," Rosberg said. "We're there or thereabouts I think, so for qualifying I'm not too concerned and for the race it's difficult to understand where we were. For sure tyre-wise it's a big mission because there's a lot of graining again here and that makes it difficult."

Rosberg was keen to stress that Mercedes was making progress in the area but that he wasn't sure if its rivals were struggling less with their tyres.

"For sure the team again has done a great job and put in a lot of hard work, so the car is better but if it's good enough we'll have to wait and see … I'm certain that we've improved [tyre wear], but I'm not certain we're as good as some of the other teams so there might be still some work to go."

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