Nico Rosberg was 'reasonably' satisfied after finishing in fifth in the F1 2011 Turkish Grand Prix today, although he conceded that the Brackley-based outfit still needs to do more to improve in race conditions.
Rosberg qualified third in his Mercedes GP W02, 'best of the rest' behind the ever dominant Red Bull's of Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber. However, despite getting a good start and moving up to second, he slipped back in his first stint.
Indeed it was only in the second half of the race that he managed to re-gain some places, culminating with the pass on the McLaren of Jenson Button for P5 with just three laps to go.
“My start today was fantastic to overtake Mark and be running in second place on the first lap, but from there I was struggling with my tyres on the first stint,” Rosberg explained.
“Our strategy worked out well to bring me back into a decent position so we can be reasonably satisfied, and I'm happy to be in front of Jenson and just a few seconds behind Lewis [Hamilton]. There is still a gap to the top but we have continued to improve the car this weekend.
“We don't know exactly why we are better in qualifying than in the race but we will work on this. Overall I had another good weekend and I'm looking forward to the trip to Barcelona.”
Mercedes team principal, Ross Brawn meanwhile added that they will defintely have to pay more attention to race set-up in future grand's prix.
“The race balance that we gave Nico wasn't as good as we had hoped and on high fuel, the car was too hard on its tyres,” Brawn lamented. “That spoiled the first half of the race but in the second half, our pace was more respectable.
“Nico began climbing back through the field towards where we had hoped to be racing; however we were too far back by then.
“Fifth place is still a respectable result taking everything into account, but fine-tuning our race set-up will be a particular priority for the next races, especially at circuits where the tyres are delicate to manage.”