Nico Rosberg ended the final day of Bahrain testing on Saturday fastest of all in the Mercedes W05, but was quick to downplay the achievement by revealing that the time was done on a low fuel qualifying-style run.
Rosberg told the media at the end of day four, “We were doing some qualifying-style runs and for sure the other guys didn’t take as much fuel out as we did, which explains the gaps. It’s impossible to know what the other people were doing with so many tyres here as well. The feeling is positive and it’s looking quite good, even on pace, but I don’t want to say more than that.”
Rosberg’s best time of 1.33.283 set in the morning was 1.6 seconds up on the next best on the day, and mighty close to the times set during last year’s Bahrain GP weekend.
“It’s positive at the moment, and in terms of reliability. I managed to complete the race distance today and that’s good. Nevertheless, the car did break afterwards so there is still some way to go. Problems are arising here and there, which is totally normal.”
“I think that in comparison to other teams we are good in terms of reliability. But we need to be 100% bulletproof by the time we get Melbourne, which is a massive challenge,” mused the German.
Much has been said of how the all new V6 turbo generation cars require more input from drivers than the previous generation did.
Rosberg revealed, “We’re quicker on the straights and slower in the corners. There’s a lot less grip in the corners, so [there is] more sliding and that’s the main thing. You can feel that, the loss in downforce.”
“We can be very pleased with the first test in Bahrain this week. We completed a lot of mileage and learnt more about the car with every lap we did. We did a race simulation, which was crucial to learn all the new things in the car.”
“There was a lot of feedback from the engineers, so my head was full of information!”concluded Rosberg.
The third and final Formula 1 pre-season test also takes place in Bahrain, starting on Thursday morning, 27 February. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.