With two weeks remaining before FP1 in Melbourne, Mercedes have clearly got the upper hand but it appears that the Silver Arrows are intent on playing down expectations, with Nico Rosberg pointing out some weaknesses which have emerged after the opening day of the final F1 pre-season test in Bahrain.
Speaking to the media at the end of the day, Rosberg revealed, “We were able to see a few more weaknesses of our car which we would not have discovered at lower temperatures, and now we know what we have to work on, given the fact that the first three or four races will be in the heat.”
“Having found out about these issues, it basically screwed up my plan to run full throttle and instead I was only able to push at 90 percent, which was a little disappointing. But we must not forget that we are heading in the right direction.”
Mercedes powered teams have been pretty much bullet proof, with all their teams managing to do substantial mileage relative to their rivals – and most importantly problem free miles at good pace.
Asked where Mercedes had the edge at this early stage of proceedings, Rosberg explained, “I think it is the reliability of our powertrain that gives us a little bit of air between some others, as it seems that we have fewer problems.”
“For us it is a huge challenge to even be able to see the chequered flag in Melbourne, as looking around there are cars stopping left, right and centre and only three testing days left. Now we have to fully concentrate on the important things, and this is exactly what we are doing,” added the German.
Inevitably Rosberg and his teammate Lewis Hamilton are already being billed as pre-season favourites, and the evidence is that they go into the first races with an edge over problem plagued world champions Red Bull, and with the most likely challenge likely to come from the others in the Mercedes brigade and Ferrari. (GP247)
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