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Nico Rosberg unhappy with radio clampdown

Nico Rosberg expects 2016's radio clampdown to disadvantage drivers. Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg believes drivers will lose performance and struggle as a result of not being able to communicate with their engineers during a race.

New regulations for 2016 will see very limited communication between drivers and their engineers in an attempt to put race strategy and control back into drivers' hands. While Fernando Alonso feels the ban won't put the onus back on drivers, Rosberg has gone a step further by saying he can only see scenarios where drivers are going to suffer.

"It's going to make it more challenging at times," Rosberg said. "Us drivers, all of us benefited from strategy and that's where you lose race performance as a result because you can never drive according to our strategies, we can just drive to what was planned before the race."

"They [engineers] know there's a slow car which is going to be just in front of me if I box now on my planned lap, so they're going to have to keep me out waiting for that slow car to come in but I've driven to be boxing that lap because I don't know that guy is there, so my tires are done."

While the German admits the rule changes will force drivers to have to work harder, he does think that the FIA has gone a step too far in their pursuit of reducing the engineers' in-race guidance.

"It has a big influence. It's now down to us to get the job done. It's gone to the extent of not being able to tell us that our strategies have changed. So if I change from a three-stop to a two-stop, I'm driving flat out thinking I'm stopping in two laps time and then they're just not going to pull me into the box, and my tires are going to be done."

Rosberg, who finished 2015 on a high with a trifecta of wins in Mexico, Brazil and Abu Dhabi is looking forward to getting back on track, and like his teammate Lewis Hamilton does expect Ferrari to be strong.

"Ferrari is a big threat. They were extremely close to our pace in testing. We take them extremely seriously. We need to be careful. We are expecting a battle, which is fine as long as they are never in front of me."