There was some fighting talk from Nico Rosberg
as he sat alongside the two Red Bull
Racing drivers in the post-qualifying press conference at Istanbul Park, with the German insisting that he was going to mix things up from the start of the Turkish Grand Prix.
Rosberg, buoyed by his 15 laps in the lead in China and the recent improvement shown by the Mercedes team, claimed an impressive third on the grid for round four of the 2011 F1 world championship, ahead of both McLarens and Fernando Alonso's Ferrari, and insisted that he wasn't done yet.
"It is really great to see," he enthused, "I am very happy for all of us, and think we have just done really well to come back from the difficult start [to the season] all the way to where we are now. We are getting ever closer to where we want to be and that is really nice. When you think where we were four races ago, now it's huge steps, and we're really learning from the mistakes and the problems that we've had, really making the most of the car that we have, and just extracting more and more from it.
"Today was a good day again. I think the team has been doing a great job and that's why I'm pleased with third, but of course, we're still not where we want to be, so everybody's still going to keep on pushing.
"I got everything right [in qualifying] and I think it worked well with set-up and everything. Qualifying generally went very well and I even saved one set of options for tomorrow, which is very positive also for the race. [Tyres are] going to be an issue for everybody, for sure. It's just a matter of finding the compromise in the race, how much you can push, how much you need to save tyres for the length of the stint that you have."
Asked whether he thought he'd be able to attack the Red Bulls, or have to focus more on keeping the McLarens at bay, Rosberg was clear in his objectives for the race.
"I'm going to have a stunning start because I'm going to be on the clean side of the grid, so I'm going to go straight past Mark [Webber] and then we will see," he grinned, "For sure, [Red Bull] are quicker at the moment, so we'll just take it as it comes. I think, strategy-wise, we are very strong. I have a new [set of] option [tyres] left for tomorrow because I didn't use it in Q3, so that's going to help me a lot in the race, and I'm confident that we can have a really good one."
Although team-mate Michael Schumacher was only eighth on the grid, for reasons Rosberg was unable to shed any light on, both Germans had shown throughout practice that Mercedes now had to be counted among Red Bull's main challengers. Rosberg, however, played down suggestions that a revised exhaust system had been the catalyst for the upturn in form.
"To be honest, we haven't changed that much on the car in the last few races," he stressed, "We're just getting the most out of what we had, because we just went a bit wrong at the beginning of the season. A lot of things are just coming together and making it work.
"That's why I'm looking forward to what's going to come now, once we get some more upgrades. Everything is looking more and more positive. There's not one reason, it's just a lot of things coming together where we weren't working the car well, and are now getting the most out of it. Very simple things where we went in the wrong direction, so we moved back in another direction with the springs and bars. That area definitely gave us a chunk of lap time [after we] confused ourselves a little bit."