Nico Rosberg may have posted the fastest time of winter testing so far at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, but the German driver was left frustrated after struggling with the setup on his Mercedes on Friday.
Rosberg posted a fastest lap time of 1:22.772 on the soft compound tire to finish 1.2 seconds clear of the field, as well as beating Felipe Massa’s fastest time of the test from Thursday.
However, he revealed to the media after the session had ended that Mercedes had struggled to get its setup right all day long, and that he didn’t feel totally comfortable behind the wheel of the W06 Hybrid.
“Today was a difficult day because even though the numbers look like they’re in the right place on the setup, actually the setup was very far away from where it needed to be, and we don’t understand that,” Rosberg explained.
“The whole day, we’ve been chasing the setup and trying to find the right direction and it’s really difficult to understand where to go.
“We spent the whole day trying to move in the one direction, and then eventually, in the end, it was feeling more decent. And then putting the soft tires on gives us grip anyway. I’m pleased with my laps, they were exactly identical, so a good ending.”
Despite his struggles, Rosberg remains confident that Mercedes can be the team to beat once again in 2015, but is keeping an eye on the other teams as they look to cut into the German marque’s advantage.
“We are confident,” Rosberg said. “We have a great team at the moment, but at the same time we are well aware that the others have been posting some quick times, so we need to keep our heads down and keep working.”
Rosberg will return to the car on Sunday in Barcelona, with Lewis Hamilton enjoying his final day of pre-season running tomorrow.