Rosberg anticipating ‘big battle’ with Ferrari in Bahrain

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Nico Rosberg is readying himself for a “big battle” with Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen in Bahrain as he looks to continue his strong start to the 2016 Formula 1 season this weekend.

Rosberg won the opening round of the year in Australia to extend his winning streak to four races, leading home Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton for a one-two finish.

However, Ferrari enjoyed the rule of the race in Melbourne early on, suggesting that Mercedes could face a tougher fight at the front of the pack in 2016.

“We’ve stepped up our game once again with a fantastic car, but Ferrari were a real threat all weekend in Melbourne and it’s clear that we’ve got a big battle on our hands, so we have to keep pushing very hard,” Rosberg said.

“The new radio rules make things quite a big challenge. It’s tough out there – and for me it’s a good direction we’ve taken, giving the drivers more responsibility. The important thing is whether it’s what the fans want to see, so we need to listen to them.

“It’s Bahrain next – a track which always seems to provide entertainment for me! I’ve had some great battles there in the last two years with Lewis and also the Ferraris, so I’m expecting more of the same this time and very much looking forward to that.

“It was great to win the first race – but the aim is to come out on top at every step of the way this season, starting this weekend. There’s a long way to go…”

The Bahrain Grand Prix is live on NBCSN and CNBC this weekend. Click here for full TV details.