Rosberg pipped Lewis Hamilton to the F1 World Drivers’ Championship last year but is watching from the sidelines this time around after retiring over the winter.
The 2016 runner-up and new Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas have put Mercedes top of the World Constructors’ Championship, even though Hamilton trails Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the individual standings.
And Rosberg believes that the team prize is already sewn up because Mercedes are so good at in-season development.
“Ferrari have really done a great job over the winter,” Rosberg told German Newspaper Bild.
“But now it will be a development race.
“I find it hard to believe that Ferrari can keep up. After Silverstone I had already thought: that’s it now.
“I was surprised that Ferrari in Hungary hadn’t fallen back again.
“Spa would have to be a full-on the Mercedes track. Ferrari is unlikely to have a chance.”
Jolyon Palmer’s Renault career is not beyond salvage, according to team boss Cyril Abiteboul.
The Brit is in his second full season of F1 racing but has managed just one championship point, secured in Malaysia last year.
And with former F1 driver Robert Kubica impressing during an in-season test in Hungary before the current summer break, Palmer’s seat is thought to be under threat.
But Abiteboul insists if Palmer can start recording some points-scoring finishes, he will remain in his current position.
“Frankly, if he manages to turn around the situation, which he did last year, we are completely open to a future between the team and Jo for one more season,” Abiteboul told Motorsport.com.
“Stability would be good for the team. That’s also what we wanted last year – to have Nico changing we wanted not to have to change two drivers.
“Things could go his [Palmer’s] way, but at the end of the day that’s in his hands.”
Fernando Alonso is looking increasingly like a gun for hire and has been quick to confirm to potential employers that he is still as sharp as ever.
The Spaniard is a two-time F1 world champion but the 36-year-old has not won a Grand Prix since 2013.
But the former Renault and Ferrari driver, whose contract at McLaren is up at the end of the year, believes he has never been in such good shape in the car.
“I’ll be thinking about my future during the break, for sure,” Alonso said.
“As I’ve said before, September/October is my timeline to decide what I’ll do next year.
“I want to win, I think I’m at the top of my game now, so let’s hope everything goes well and we’ll find the best solution for everybody.”
Source : EXPRESS