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F1 NEWS 

Rosberg: Race set-up more critical now

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Australia 2011, ThursdayRace strategy and performance will be more critical factors in setting up the cars this season, as emphasis shifts away from qualifying thanks to the raft of changes in Formula 1 in 2011 - that is the view of Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg.

With KERS and adjustable rear wings now available to drivers and with Pirelli's tyres expected to make three or four-stop races the norm, Rosberg believes that overtaking should become more widespread and therefore lessen the impact of grid position.

"I think this year probably racing is going to be more important," he said. "Last year qualifying was extremely important and this year I think the bias will be more on the racing.

"So sometimes you may even compromise a bit on qualifying to concentrate more on the race. Because of the degradation the tyres have and the pit stops and everything, and moveable rear wing, there is more possibility of overtaking so that could be quite different to last year.

Rosberg said that while he welcomed the changes being introduced to the sport he cautioned against making the races too confusing for the fans to follow.

"If there is more overtaking it is just good for the sport, good for the fans and everyone has more fun and nobody asks why is there more overtaking?" he said. "Could be from the tyres, from the wing - maybe everything helps but in the end it doesn't matter, as long as there is more overtaking.

"What we need to be careful of is that the races don't become too messy because if you have too many pit stops and everything it could become too confusing and that is the only thing that could become a bit of an issue which we need to keep an eye on."

He added that he thought Bernie Ecclestone's idea of adding artificial rain via sprinkler systems might be a step in the wrong direction.

"I think that would be taking it too far," he said. "A big step has been done this year in the direction of trying to make the racing more exciting and everything, so let's wait and see how this goes. I am sure it will be a big step forward and then we can think about other things."

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