Mercedes champion Nico Rosberg believes his former team will move ahead of Ferrari as the development race heats up, claiming the Italian squad will struggle to match the might of Mercedes in the second half of the season.
Ferrari have so far been a match for the Anglo-German outfit, with Sebastian Vettel claiming four wins, whilst Lewis Hamilton also has four and team-mate Valtteri Bottas two.
Mercedes have opened up a lead in the Constructors’ Championship, but Vettel holds the advantage in the Drivers’. Rosberg expects that to change going into the final races of the year, although he admitted surprise at Ferrari’s latest dominant 1-2 in Hungary.
“Ferrari have really done a great job over the winter,” Rosberg told Sport Bild. “But now it will be a development race. I find it hard to believe that Ferrari can keep up.
“After Silverstone I already thought: That’s it now, so I was surprised that Ferrari in Hungary hadn’t fallen back again.
“Spa would have to be a full-on Mercedes-track. Ferrari is unlikely to have a chance there.”
Rosberg also commented on Vettel’s aggression, which peaked in Baku when he drove into Lewis Hamilton, but believes it could prove to be beneficial when the championship comes down to just a few points.
“You know that he does not control his emotions,” he added. “In the short term and at the moment this may seem [like] a weakness – but over a whole season, this depravity can make the difference.”