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2013-07-04 08:36

NEW FAVOURITES? Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton (left) and Nico Rosberg are backing Pirelli about making the right decision regarding new tyres for the German GP, after a dramatic race at Silverstone on June 30. Image: AFP


LONDON, England - Nico Rosberg expressed confidence in Pirelli while addressing tyre-safety concerns for Germany and said Mercedes would be favourite for the 2013 Nurburgring GP.

"I'm confident the right decisions will be taken," Rosberg told reporters in a conference call from Stuttgart when asked about Formula 1 safety fears, with talk of a possible driver boycott, raised by the spate of high-speed rear-tyre blowouts at Silverstone during the 2013 British GP.


"I think they will have everything under control by Nurburgring, which will be good," the British GP winner added. "I'm very excited to drive again because our car is so good at the moment."

Pirelli announced on July 2 that it would bring stronger rear tyres, with a different construction, to Germany before introducing a new range for Hungary later in July. Team mate Lewis Hamilton, whose hope of winning his home race disappeared with a blowout on lap eight after he'd led from pole, was more cautious than Rosberg after being outspoken about the situation after the British GP.

"I think it's still a concern and it's still something that we need to see how it goes," he said. "I'm sure they're taking the right steps to make it safer. I'm satisfied, but when we get there we'll have a better idea of how it is for us and everyone's in the same boat."


Hamilton said after the 2013 Brit GP that the situation was unacceptable - "the first time in my career I've ever felt it was dangerous" - and doubted at the time whether anything would be done until someone got hurt.

Rosberg has won two of the last three races and Mercedes, now second in the championship behind Red Bull, has been on pole five times in eight races.

"It's going to be a bit of a learning process but I'm confident that with the car we have it doesn't matter," Rosberg said of the tyres. "I think in general we have a very quick car so I'm confident that we can stay where we are more or less. Slowly but surely we are dropping into the role of being favourites which is fantastic as such."


Hamilton, who has started on pole twice in 2013 buthas yet to win for Mercedes since his switch from McLaren at the end of 2012, did not see it that way. "I don't think we are favourite. I think Red Bull is still favourite. It is leading the championship but we are improving and getting closer.

"Nico has proved we can win so I'm sure at some stage a win will come," he added when asked about his own chances.

Mercedes motorsport head Toto Wolff was also wary. "On some occasions we have shown that the car has improved a lot... there will be other tracks linked to ambient temperatures and track temperatures where we are going to struggle a bit more.

"That' the DNA of the car."

Stay with Wheels24 for the 2013 German F1 GP – fresh reports every day.


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