• First Bahrain Test - Day Four

Fuel load explains gap to rest - Rosberg

ESPN Staff
February 22, 2014 « Rosberg finishes test on top, Raikkonen crashes | Vergne speaks out about Toro Rosso's major problems »
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Nico Rosberg is not getting carried away with Mercedes' promising testing pace on the final day of this week's running in Bahrain and says reliability still needs to be worked on.

Rosberg set by far the fastest time of the week during a qualifying simulation run on Saturday, with a time nearly 1.7s faster than his nearest competitor Jenson Button. But with Mercedes more advanced in its testing programme than its rivals, Rosberg reckons his competitors are still running heavier fuel loads.

"We were doing some qualifying-style runs and for sure the other guys didn't take as much fuel out as we did, which explains the gaps," he said. "It's impossible to know what the other people were doing with so many tyres here as well. The feeling is positive and it's looking quite good, even on pace, but I don't want to say more than that."

Rosberg went on to complete a race simulation at the end of the day, but said Mercedes still has some way to go to ensure the car is reliable for the opening race in Melbourne.

"It's positive at the moment, and in terms of reliability I managed to complete the race distance today and that's good. Nevertheless, the car did break afterwards so there is still some way to go. Problems are arising here and there, which is totally normal, and I think in comparison to other teams we are good in terms of reliability. But we need to be 100% bulletproof by the time we get Melbourne, which is a massive challenge."

Asked to compare driving his new V6 turbo car with the V8s of recent years, he added: "We're quicker on the straights and slower in the corners. There's a lot less grip in the corners, so more sliding and that's the main thing. You can feel that, the loss in downforce."

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