Ferrari closer to Mercedes than Williams last year - Rosberg

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Nico Rosberg says Ferrari has closed the gap to Mercedes so much that it is more of a threat than Williams was in 2014.

While Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg finished over half a minute clear of the field in Melbourne, Sebastian Vettel finished third having been stuck behind Felipe Massa for the first half of the race. With James Allison expecting Ferrari to be closer to Mercedes in the Malaysian Grand Prix, Rosberg says the signs during the race in Australia suggest the gap is much smaller than it appears.

“Of course, qualifying pace was really strong yes, but more important is the race pace and especially from Kimi [Raikkonen] we saw extremely strong stints,” Rosberg said. “So it’s not really fair to say [the gap is bigger]. I think Ferrari especially definitely closed the gap and are closer than our nearest rival was last year.”

Hamilton qualified on pole position at the first race of the season and led throughout, ensuring Rosberg could not get within a second of him. However, Rosberg believes he will have more opportunities to attack his team-mate in Malaysia.

“Qualifying is important yes in this internal battle, especially since we have the same cars, but it’s not everything because we’ve seen in the past that even in races by playing around with the tyre order or things like that, it’s still possible to overtake. And this weekend, there might be a bit more leeway in strategy to try and launch a better attack here.”

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