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Rosberg certain of Mercedes progress
Nico Rosberg says he is certain Mercedes is progressing this season despite a poor race in Bahrain.
Having qualified on pole, the Mercedes weakness of high rear tyre degradation reared its head and resulted in Rosberg dropping backwards to ninth place by the end of the race. However, while the problem is one that the team has struggled with in previous years, Rosberg says there's no doubt in his mind that the team is improving.
"I am sure; the factory is working a lot better," Rosberg said. "There's more people there, better communication, it's going in a stronger direction so definitely there's progress, yeah. We still have a few weaknesses now which were uncovered - especially in Bahrain because there were extreme conditions - so we still saw that we need to make further improvements and further improve our understanding of the tyres and all that.
"That's also because this year it's all very different, much more extreme with the tyres the way they are so you need to keep on pushing further and further. For sure the race in Bahrain showed some of our weaknesses still being there but we're continuing to work on them and again we've made a lot of progress with understanding and already here have some improvements, so I'm confident it's going in the right direction."
With Mercedes having been a pace-setter in pre-season testing at Barcelona, Rosberg played down the importance of its winter performance.
"Testing is not really relevant because it's so long ago and the development rate is so fast that it's already a few tenths that people have improved, so that's not really so relevant. Also in testing you don't know what people ran in terms of fuel levels and all that, so I'm just looking at recent performances where in qualifying it's been going really well and I think there's no reason why in qualifying we can't be in a good position here. I'm not saying pole, but in a good position, and what we need to improve on is our racing and I'm confident we'll do better there."