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Mercedes drivers “holding on by the skin of our teeth” (VIDEO)

Apr 23, 2013, 9:39 AM EDT

Mercedes’ drivers admit the team have a lot of work to do following a disappointing Bahrain Grand Prix.

One of their cars started from pole position for the second race in a row courtesy of Nico Rosberg. But he plummeted to ninth in an “unreal” race which caused him to reflect, “sport really is tough sometimes”.

Rosberg said the team were expecting a difficult race but it turned out worse than they predicted: “I knew already before the race, it was to be expected we would have a little bit more difficulties.”

“That it was going to be that bad – that wasn’t to be expected. The temperatures were higher on Sunday than they had been on Friday and that just exposed us even more. Our issues were the rear tires and overheating the rear tires.”

Rosberg said he knew “from corner three” on the first lap that he was going to have difficulty keeping his pursuers behind.

Team mate Lewis Hamilton started ninth after picking up a penalty for changing his gearbox. He was pleased to finish fifth after struggling for pace in the first half of the Grand Prix.

“I feel like we’re holding on by the skin of our teeth,” he said.

“The guys at the factory need to keep pushing because we’re not that far off and if we can just make that next step we can close the gap with them,” he added.

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