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Nico Rosberg returns to visit testing, hails ‘monster’ 2017 cars

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The 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg is back… sort of.

The recently retired Rosberg paid his first visit to the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona on Wednesday for the third day of this week’s first test of the offseason to catch up with his colleagues at Mercedes AMG Petronas, check out the new 2017 cars and offer his thoughts on the atmosphere and season ahead.

Rosberg posted a video to Twitter after he left the track this afternoon and immediately hailed the new cars as “proper monsters,” which he hopes will push drivers to their physical limits this season. Rosberg also thanked Liberty Media Corporation, F1’s new owners, for allowing pit lane activity and some track activity to be posted in short videos.

“It was a nice experience for me to see my racing family again. It was fun!” Rosberg said. “It’s great to see the new cars. It’s definitely looking good on that front, because they look like proper monsters. That’s how F1 should be – very extreme.”

Rosberg hopes this may push drivers over the limit to where some races could be won or lost on fatigue.

“With those cars, the drivers need to be gladiators out there. That’s how it should be. They’ll take them to the limit physically,” Rosberg said.

Even now, they’re hurting bad, all of them. That’s great to hear. It should take the drivers physically to their absolute limits. Maybe we’ll see a race where someone will lose a win because they’re just knackered. That would be exciting.”

A natural question you wonder is, would Rosberg want to be out there? After being back at a track, Rosberg felt content and solid with his decision to step back after his proverbial “mic drop” moment.

“For me there was not one single moment where I thought, ‘Damn, I should be sitting in that car,'” Rosberg said. “It was interesting and perfect to realize that.

“I think that’s it! It’s awesome … the vibe is so exciting. All the journalists are out of control with new cars, who’s gonna be fastest, it’s such hype at the moment. (There’s) big hope and big optimism the sport can become even better.”

Here’s what Rosberg posted on Twitter today:

Daniel Ricciardo would relish being Lewis Hamilton’s teammate

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BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — Daniel Ricciardo says he would relish the challenge of having Lewis Hamilton as his teammate if he joins Mercedes next year.

Ricciardo is out of contract at Red Bull at the end of the season and expressed interest in joining teams like Mercedes or Ferrari to help him challenge for the championship.

The Australian says he would “love to obviously be challenged against the best and Lewis is obviously up there.”

He adds: “I don’t want to say it’s just Lewis I’m looking for but that would be a good challenge.”

Ricciardo says he won’t accept a faster car if it means playing second fiddle to an established star.

He says “there’s always been really good clarity and fairness (at Red Bull) … and I would expect that environment everywhere.”