Nico Rosberg says himself and team-mate Michael Schumacher are on an "even playing field" as they enter the third year of their Mercedes GP partnership.
Making the move from Williams to Mercedes at the end of 2009, Rosberg found himself unexpectedly teaming up with - statistically - the greatest driver to have ever raced in Formula One.
And it was Rosberg who had the edge.
The younger German far outscored Schumacher in their first season together while in the second the seven-time World Champ closed the gap, although he still came off second best.
"He closed the gap to me in the Championship standings compared with 2010, but a lot of that reduction was down to the tyres and the DRS, which made overtaking more possible," Rosberg said in an interview with Car.
"Qualifying lost a lot of its importance in 2011 and that was the main explanation. But Michael also raised his game; he upped his performance.
"At the start of last year I had a lot of respect towards him, but it's settled down now. We're on an even playing field and it's much more easygoing.
"I respect his dedication to the sport and his approach. That's interesting to see."
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