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Nico Rosberg: Leading showed what Mercedes still lacks

Nico Rosberg leads at SpaNico Rosberg said that while he was pleased to have the experience of leading the Belgian Grand Prix for Mercedes, his struggle to hang on to first place underlined that the team still has to find more pace to fight for victories.

The German made a rapid start to move from fifth to second by the exit of the first corner, then passed Sebastian Vettel on the Kemmel Straight to take the lead.

He managed to fend off the Ferraris, Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton's McLaren for a while, but ultimately faded to sixth by the flag.

"I had a great start today and it was a special feeling to be leading the race in a Silver Arrow at this amazing circuit," Rosberg said. "It was great to see the traffic jam behind me with the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari cars, but it was hard to realise that we just don't have the pace to stay at the top.

"However we have made progress this weekend and today was a good result for the team."

Rosberg was passed by his Mercedes team-mate Michael Schumacher in the closing stint, having had to back off to save fuel after his earlier efforts.

"I had to push quite hard at the start and in the middle which cost me a little towards the end, which combined with Michael being on the faster soft tyres, meant that I wasn't able to keep him behind me," Rosberg explained. "Now I'm looking forward to Monza and I'm confident that we can improve further."

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