Formula 1

Rosberg: Mercedes are now favourites for every race

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Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes can now rightly be considered favourites going into any race weekend following their performance at the British Grand Prix on Sunday.

Rosberg claimed his second victory of the season at Silverstone while team-mate Lewis Hamilton grabbed 4th having suffered a catastrophic puncture which dropped him from 1st to last place.

Mercedes have typically looked fast over one lap during most qualifying sessions this season but have suffered badly with quick tyre degradation on race days.

However the Brackley-based team look to have come up with a solution to their problem - rivals will say thanks to their illegal in-season test with Pirelli - with Hamilton going longer on the hard tyre than anyone else on the grid at the notoriously hard-wearing British Grand Prix.

 They'll also likely be helped by a switch of tyres by Pirelli after the Hungarian Grand Prix to make them tougher after the puncture controversy that has dominated the aftermath of Sunday's race.

Rosberg says that the development from that start of the season to the Mercedes W04 puts them well and truly among the elite of Formula 1.

"Slowly but surely we are dropping into the role of being favourites, which is fantastic," said the German.

He added: "Now things are coming together. We built up the team with more employees, working together better. A lot of fantastic people have joined the team to complement the fantastic people that we already had.

"They managed to build a great car over the winter. Then in the development race this season, which was our big weakness last year, it seems to be going pretty well at the moment - which is another sign of the team building and having learned from our issues in past years.

"We have fantastic momentum in the team at the moment. It's great to be a part of it."

The result at Silverstone means Hamilton is 43 points back from Drivers' Championship leader Sebastian Vettel, who was forced to retire with a transmission problem. Rosberg is a further seven point back from Hamilton, while Mercedes are up to 2nd, 48 points behind Red Bull, in the Constructors' Championship.

Despite Rosberg's optimism, Hamilton is a little more cautious ahead of the German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring this weekend.

I don't think we're favourites," said the 2008 champion. "Red Bull is still favourite. They're leading the championship. We are improving and getting closer."

Formula 1

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