Rosberg delighted by trouble-free day for Mercedes

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He may not have finished at the top of the timesheets, but Nico Rosberg undoubtedly put in the performance of the day in the first pre-season test at Jerez by completing more than twice as many laps as any other driver.

Rosberg’s time of 1:23.106 was only good enough for third in the final classifications, four-tenths of a second behind pace-setter Sebastian Vettel. However, with 157 laps under his belt, the German driver proved that the bid to improve the reliability of the Mercedes car has got off to a good start.

“That was a great start to the winter testing,” Rosberg said. “In the beginning it’s all about reliability and we managed to do a lot of mileage today. The guys in the factories built a complete new car and now we come here and it’s working great, so the team did a fantastic job over the winter.

“I was able to do some good long runs on the first day and that’s really amazing. We have such a great team and this is what makes me really happy. As a driver, you always want to find out how quick you are compared to the others – but that will have to wait until qualifying in Melbourne.

“The next testing days are all about making sure we know the car inside out and we’ve made a good start with that today.”

Rosberg was on hand to help unveil the new Mercedes W06 Hybrid in Jerez on Sunday morning, and spoke about how he is using the heartache of his title defeat to teammate Lewis Hamilton in 2014 as motivation for the new year.

Hamilton will get behind the wheel of the W06 for tomorrow’s running in Jerez, with Rosberg jumping back into the car on Tuesday.