• Barcelona Testing

Mercedes won't show its hand until Bahrain - Rosberg

ESPNF1 Staff
February 26, 2010 « Drivers expect to ramp up pace over week | »
Nico Rosberg says Mercedes will be changed dramatically in time for Bahrain © Getty Images
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Nico Rosberg expects Mercedes to up its game in the two weeks between the final test in Barcelona and the first race in Bahrain.

The team is widely considered to be among the top four teams but hasn't set headline lap times like Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull. However, Rosberg told reporters after the first day in Barcelona that he expects the car to be mixing it at the front of the field come the first race.

"It's difficult to say exactly where we are," Rosberg said. "I think it's very close to the front, but that could all change again for Bahrain because the update we have is such a big step. We did a lot today, made a lot of set-up changes, and we learned how they affected the car and how the car behaves on a long run."

He added that it wasn't worth perfecting the set-up of the car this week because the changes for Bahrain would require a different treatment.

"The only thing is that you can't really work on details in terms of set-up because the car is going to change a lot for Bahrain, so there is no point in working on the small details now to maximise the performance."

Mark Webber set the fastest time of the day in the Red Bull which he claimed was proof that Red Bull "are in better shape than the other teams". But Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug reckons the Australian's dominance on just one day is not necessarily indicative of the true pecking order.

"If they did that time with 150 kilos [of fuel] then they were quick," he said. "But this time is not the benchmark. It's early days, and I would not say that any team has made any serious qualifying efforts so far. Later in the test I would think we will see it, if the weather stays dry, then I think we can have a feeling of what's going on. A difference of around 80 kilos could mean about three seconds per lap, but that's assuming the heavier guy can make the car work when they take the fuel out."

Testing resumes on Friday with Michael Schumacher in the Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull.