• First Barcelona Test, Day Three

Mercedes closer to top teams - Rosberg

ESPN Staff
February 21, 2013 « 2013 'not much different' to 2012 - Vettel | Webber satisfied with first race simulation »
Nico Rosberg on track in the Mercedes on Thursday © Sutton Images
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After his most recent test in the new W04, Nico Rosberg is sure Mercedes will be closer to the front of the grid this season.

Mercedes won in China last year but by the end of 2012 was struggling to get within a second of the front runners and finished fifth in the constructors' championship. This season the team is looking to close the gap to the front runners, and while Rosberg does not think it is quite there yet, he is confident it has made an improvement.

"Definitely progress from last year and for sure we are going to be closer to the top guys," he said. "That's important because it's going in the right direction. The team has done a really good job over the winter and it really looks like all their hard work and effort has been worthwhile. It's a pleasure to drive at the moment because the balance is quite good and there are a lot of positives."

After losing out on running time on Tuesday with a gearbox problem and enduring a slow start to Thursday, Rosberg said Mercedes still needs to work on the reliability of the W04 while maintaining the developments in performance.

"Of course we need to improve reliability because we are having a few issues, but it's nothing major," he added. "What's also looking good is our development rate at the moment. That was our weakness last year and that's what we really have to improve and that's going in the right direction too. There all these factors which are going well at the moment but are not quite there yet."