Two days after his World Championship hopes ended with an ERS system failure in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Mercedes man Nico Rosberg went to work once more.
The German driver, who still had his best Grand Prix season to date with five victories and 11 pole positions, pounded out a total of 114 laps today at the Yas Marina Circuit in the first of a two-day test session in the desert.
That number of laps was the most of any driver that hit the track today, and his best lap of 1 minute, 44.512 seconds was good enough to put him third on the board behind Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Afterwards, Rosberg admitted to reporters that he was initially frustrated about having to test so soon after his title loss to teammate Lewis Hamilton but ultimately got back to some semblance of normalcy.
“It has not easy to be back in the car after Sunday, but after about 20 laps I found my rhythm again and it was fun again,” Rosberg said. “We have so few tests in F1 nowadays that every day counts, so there was no point in not testing today even after the disappointment of Sunday.
“It was good because when we go to winter testing, the team has its own program to follow, so I cannot use the time for myself and for the things I need to learn.”
As far as the German is concerned, his 2015 campaign started today in Abu Dhabi as he was able to learn a bit about the new Pirelli tires – particularly, the medium and soft compounds.
But now, after a memorable year that saw him get married, win his home Grand Prix, and take the championship to the final race, it’s time for a rest.
Mercedes reserve Pascal Wehrlein will take over the W05 for the final day of the Abu Dhabi test.
“A lot happened to me this season, but I’m happy that after today my year is finally over and I´m now ready to go on vacations,” he said. “We had an amazing season but it’s always possible to improve the car and even myself as a driver.
“That’s the beauty of the sport and next year I’m going to be even stronger.”