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Rosberg targets wins with W04
Nico Rosberg is targeting victories with the W04 this season but admits they are likely to come later in the year for Mercedes.
Having won the Chinese Grand Prix last year Rosberg saw the relative performance of the W03 drop off as the season progressed and Mercedes ended the season well off the pace. Rosberg admitted the team was unlikely to be able to start the year challenging for wins but that he hopes to be closer to the top teams immediately and then erase that gap.
"[Am I] confident to start this season as last year was when we were one of the fastest cars at times? Not so confident, because the gap was quite big at the end of last year and we need to first close that gap," Rosberg said. "That's our main target to start the season - to be a lot closer to the guys in front - and I'm very confident we'll manage to achieve that. We've made a big step now over the winter, the team is working better and better in the factory, and every year it's just improving. More people have joined, there's better communication, better organisation in the factory, so they've definitely produced a much better car again.
"So our goal is to be a lot closer initially and then the big improvement needs to be in the development rate where last year we really flattened off in the middle part of the season. That's where we've worked on a lot in the winter and that's where we need to improve especially to hopefully develop faster than the people in front of us and continue to close the gap and eventually really start fighting for a few wins."
Having driven the car during the morning as part of a Mercedes filming day, Rosberg added that he was delighted with how the initial runs had gone.
"It was a great start this morning. Everything went to plan, there was no problems; my seat and my position - which is quite different, a new seat because the car inside is different - all fitted very well and I was very comfortable. I even got the height right because you need to sit as low as possible but since the cockpit shape is quite difficult and everything is very difficult to judge when you are in the factory in a little room to judge how low you can actually go, and I managed to get that right too. So it was all good and I could push straight away when I was out there. It was all very enjoyable of course to be able to push straight away in these fantastic conditions. The car was balanced well and so it was a very good start and as a result I look forward a lot to driving tomorrow in a full test day."