Rosberg 'on a knife-edge' with set-up
26 October 2013 – Nico Rosberg says he is driving "on a knife-edge" at this weekend's Indian Grand Prix, with his Mercedes team trialling various set-ups in a bid to close the gap to Red Bull.
As was the strategy of pole-sitter Sebastian Vettel, Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton decided to use Pirelli's Soft compound tyre in the final shootout phase, handing the pair second and third place grid slots for tomorrow afternoon's race.
But Rosberg admits the result was only possible due to his "on the limit" approach.
"I'm completely on a knife-edge," Rosberg, who finished 0.752 seconds adrift of Vettel, explained after stepping out of the car. "I'm on the limit, trying to extract that little tenth more. We've tried new things with set-ups, and until now it has worked. Qualifying second was better than I hoped for with Mark [Webber] on a different strategy."
He added: "For the moment we're looking OK, but the race will still be tough. There are very different circumstances, with the Option tyre really struggling for the race. The Prime will be OK. The balance [between the two steps] is very different, so we'll see."
Hamilton shared Rosberg's surprise at Mercedes' overall qualifying performance, and argued that tyre strategy will play a "huge" role in determining the outcome of the race, with no one in the paddock certain as to which strategy will emerge as the strongest.
"The strategy is going to play huge part," said Hamilton. "I'm a little bit surprised with where we are. But generally, bit by bit, we have found a reasonable balance. We've been pushing as hard as we can. Hopefully tomorrow we can stay ahead of the rest."