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Rosberg doubts more Merc podiums

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Nico Rosberg fears it will be difficult for Mercedes to claim another podium finish on pure merit before the season is out, as the team admits it continues to struggle to get the most out of its recent updates.

Rosberg has claimed all of the world champion Brackley squad’s three podium finishes in its disappointing season – two in the early flyaway rounds and the other at Silverstone in July – but the team has fallen further into the midfield pack in recent races.

Team boss Ross Brawn admitted over the Belgian Grand Prix weekend that next season was now its top priority, although it was still planning to make further improvements to its 2010 car over the final six rounds.

Rosberg concedes a further podium appearance for either he or team-mate Michael Schumacher is therefore going to be tough based on the likely competitiveness of the W01 and may only be achieved by taking advantage of unpredictable races.

“It’s definitely becoming more and more difficult because [on] pure pace we’re going to struggle to get a podium I think,” the German driver said.

“But the team is continuing to work and we are still bringing improvements.

“A lot of them also because we need to try and get them to work properly for next year, which is also important.

“So it helps this year and next year. But there’s always still going to be opportunities: we have some great races coming up…there’s tracks like Singapore where there’s always going to be exciting races and a lot of things can happen.

“So it’s still a possibility definitely.”

Mercedes’s recent performances have not been helped by overheating problems with the complex exhaust-blown diffuser it originally introduced onto its car five races ago in Valencia.

Last weekend the Brackley outfit reintroduced a revised version of the new floor it first raced in Germany after parts of the W01 again overheated there – but Brawn admits it experienced further troubles at Spa.

He now hopes these would now be resolved for Monza next week.

“It’s not completely solved and we’re a bit frustrated we haven’t found the solution yet,” Brawn revealed.

“There are different areas you can use for the floor and the area that’s suffering we didn’t anticipate getting as hot as it does.

“Obviously the exhaust gasses moving around the floor, it’s sometimes difficult to predict.

“So it’s not perfect. There will be a revision for Monza.”

Although Brawn added that on the plus side the performance of its rear-wing stalling F-duct in Belgium had been “pretty reasonable”, he conceded the general results of its recent development push had been disappointing.

“We’ve done a lot of work on the cars the last few races and it hasn’t brought the performance we hoped for,” he added.

“So our position has dropped back a bit from where we wanted to be. So there’s no lack of effort or work or commitment, but we haven’t found the performance from some of the modifications we introduced to the level we hoped.

“We have got to understand that to try and get the full use from them.”ITV-F1

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