Rosberg: Beating Hamilton in testing a “useful” edge

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Nico Rosberg has said that finishing as the quickest driver in F1’s winter testing in Barcelona may not mean anything in reality, but it does give him a small edge over teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Rosberg posted the quickest time of the eight-day test in Barcelona on Friday, recording a lap of 1:22.792 to finish at the top of the cumulative timesheets.

Although he acknowledged that it is not worth any points or accolades, he said that it does give him a small edge heading into the new season.

“I’m happy to be quickest, it’s better than not being quickest for sure!” Rosberg said. “It’s not worth much in winter testing, but it just gives you that little bit extra. It’s useful.”

Mercedes has once again been the team to beat in testing, suggesting that it could be poised to repeat its double championship success of 2014 this year.

Rosberg was pleased with how his winter went, and feels that the team is moving in the right direction after struggling with his setup on Friday.

“I’m pleased with the winter,” Rosberg said. “We’ve done a good job with the development of the car. That’s not to say that others aren’t also quick, but I’m optimistic for the first couple of races because we have a good car.

“I’ve been comfortable, and been quick, setting the best time of the whole winter test here in Barcelona two days ago. Things are going in the right direction.”

Speaking to journalists after testing on Sunday, Rosberg said that he hopes Mercedes can improve the reliability of its car after a number of problems in 2014, with some striking the team once again during pre-season.

“It’s such a challenge to get these cars perfect for every team, and that’s been our weakness last year,” Rosberg said. “So that’s what we need to improve this year. We’re on the right track, but it’s so early in the season. That’s what I think one of our biggest challenges is.”

The 2015 Formula 1 season kicks off with the Australian Grand Prix on March 15.