• First Barcelona Test - Day Four

Mercedes expected better headline time - Rosberg

Nate Saunders in Barcelona
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Nico Rosberg says Mercedes was actually expecting more from the impressive medium tyre run which put him within three tenths of Romain Grosjean's super-soft benchmark in Barcelona.

Rosberg's 1:24.321 was 0.254s off the time set by Grosjean and roughly a second faster than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton's pole time from last year's Spanish Grand Prix, though a lighter fuel load and fresher tyres may have played a role. After the session Rosberg faced the media but seemed nonplussed when told it had been an impressive time.

"If you say so!" Rosberg said. "Not according to our numbers, not so much, when we're looking at times from other days and things like that. But I think we're getting there and yes we're confident we think we have a good car."

The uncertainty over fuel means headline times are of limited significance in testing, but his 131 laps showed Mercedes has not slowed down in its search for greater reliability this season. Conditions at the Circuit de Catalunya were windy on Sunday and Rosberg says this limited the data Mercedes was able to obtain.

"It was so windy out on track and seldom have I had … It's so difficult to understand in the car because everyone is different, corner to corner, depending on where the wind is coming from the car is totally different so it really makes testing extremely difficult.

"I'm still able to learn a few things, together with the team of course, but all in all not the best of days. But anyway, still a good end to the test, no major problems on the car today. We got some good running in the end and we did learn something once the wind dropped down, some decent lap times and things so there are positives."

Rosberg admits Mercedes did survive a scare during the day when it thought a gearbox change might be required during the day.

"I think we nailed the programme, which is really good. No major problems. At one point we thought we would have to take the gearbox off but then they were looking at the numbers and crank it up in the garage and look at the data at the same time to see if there were any disturbances. Everything looked OK so the gearbox stayed on so off I went again, but it was a bit of a hairy moment."

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