Nico Rosberg says Mercedes will need to improve its car on the long runs to ensure they are quickest in the Italian Grand Prix.

Rosberg set the third best time on Friday morning in opening practice, before then going top in the afternoon. However, while he was pleased with the pace over a single lap - in qualifying trim - he was less happy with the race pace.

"I am feeling okay. It has been a good day today," Rosberg told reporters, including Crash.net. "But the others do seem to be a little bit closer, so definitely we need to make sure we work hard tonight and optimise everything.

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"Our car seems to be a bit better on one lap than on the long runs, so it is long runs that we need to work on to make sure we are the quickest here."

"There were a couple of others that did pretty good on the long runs," he added. "Everything is a bit closer. In general I wasn't 100 per cent happy with the car today.

"But I think we are still looking very, very good. We just need to work hard this evening to optimise everything."

Meanwhile, he added that the changes at Parabolica - with the new tarmac run-off area - has meant he has been trying different things out.

"This morning, for example, I was taking more risks. I would brake later and just see how it goes because I know if I go wide it is no problem. So I just tried a few things and that's definitely the difference."