Rosberg: More time for upgrade
Nico Rosberg believes it will take Mercedes a little longer before they are able to see the full performance benefit of the new exhaust package on the W03.
Last Updated: 25/09/12 5:10pm
Nico Rosberg believes it will take Mercedes a little longer before they see the full performance benefit of the new exhaust package introduced onto the W03 at the Singapore GP.
In a late-season bid to improve their flagging fortunes, the Brackley-based team trialled the revised side-exiting layout - known as the Coanda exhaust - with positive results at the Magny-Cours young driver test and duly gave the new design the green light to race last weekend.
However, the upgrade made little immediate difference to Mercedes' relative competitiveness with the team struggling for single-lap pace through practice and then only squeezing into the top ten of the grid in qualifying - although Rosberg drove a strong race to fifth on Sunday.
The German driver was encouraged by the initial improvements the team were able to derive, however, and is expecting further benefits in the forthcoming races as Mercedes gain further data on how best to exploit the concept.
"It was an exciting weekend for us as a team because we had quite a lot of new parts on the car," he said in his regular post-race video blog on Mercedes' website.
"It's a very complicated development that we're doing there on the aerodynamics with the exhaust gasses, pointing them in a certain direction so you get hot air on the back of the car which creates downforce so you can go faster through the corners.
"It's very difficult to direct that air in the right direction and everything so we found out it's going to take a while to really optimise it. Of course it really benefitted us, it already gave us a benefit this weekend, but it's going to take some day in the next days and weeks to really get the most out of it.
"So I'm quite optimistic that we can extract a lot of potential out of that. The others are a bit advanced on that already so maybe we can catch up a bit which would be good."
Rosberg's fifth-place finished marked his best race result since finishing second in Monaco four months ago while the 10-point haul also helped Mercedes consolidate their lead over Sauber in the Constructors' Championship.
The German, who had unusually scored only eight points in the previous five races, was relieved to have finally enjoyed a trouble-free Sunday.
"First time in a long time that everything really worked out for me, it was great," he added.
"I had a good start with the new tyres, good strategy with the first stint. The tyre management perfect...that's what I'm quite pleased with fifth place in the end because it's a lot of points."