Nico Rosberg has said Mercedes will get a 'massive boost' if they succeed in taking second place in the Constructors' Championship.
Mercedes increased the gap over Ferrari from four points to eleven following the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday, and Rosberg added that beating the Scuderia is important not just financially, but also for morale.
“I was very happy to hear that we took some more points off them [Ferrari] again and that we're edging away from them. That's the most important thing for us at the moment – just to finish second in the Constructors'. It's not just much more money for next year but also motivation for everybody,” Rosberg commented. “If everybody in the factory can see that we built the second-best car this year, that's just a massive boost.”
Rosberg managed to take the fight to Mark Webber at the Yas Marina Circuit on Sunday, and while he was way off Sebastian Vettel, who absolutely dominated and won again, he insisted he is not worried by Red Bull's current supremacy. Indeed he believes Mercedes will be able to mount a challenge next year and that the new 2014 F1 regulations are an opportunity.
“I don't think it [the gap] is two seconds at the moment. I think it's less than that. OK, maybe at times today but anyway, I'm not worried, no,” he continued, “because it's a great opportunity [next year] because it puts everybody back to zero. So, on the contrary, it's actually better this way. Everybody starts from zero.
“We have such a strong team now, it's been built up over the last four years, they already did a fantastic job last winter from 1.5s a lap slower. At the beginning of this season we were sometimes the quickest car without a regulation change, so they did an amazing job last winter and I'm confident that they can do it again, for sure.”
Meanwhile, looking back on Sunday's race, he reiterated his delight after taking third place - his second podium in a row and his fourth of the season, although he also added that problems in his second stint cost him the chance to beat Mark Webber to P2.
“The main thing was that I got my balance wrong in the car for that second stint and that's why I just wasn't as quick as I was hoping,” he explained. “I was just struggling a bit to get past the Toro Rosso, and then Paul di Resta. I gave it a shot down into Turn Eight, used all my KERS up and I wasn't able to do it and Mark got me on the next one. So, definitely that was unfortunate but that's the way it is. Anyway, third place is still a very good result and we got lots of points.”
“The aim for the weekend was to be best of the rest behind the Red Bulls and that's worked out – even though second place would have been possible in a perfect world today,” he concluded.