Formula 1

Great start to testing for Mercedes after impressive opening day mileage

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Nico Rosberg had a very impressive and reliable opening day of pre-season testing in Jerez, with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS driver completing an amazing 157 laps of the Spanish circuit.

Although admitting they had not tested the limits of the car, Rosberg still managed to set the third best time of the day, and ran 84 laps more than any other driver on Sunday. The German was able to complete a number of long runs during the day, and felt it was a positive start to what he hopes is another strong season for the Mercedes team.

“That was a great start to the winter testing,” insisted Rosberg. “In the beginning it’s all about reliability and we managed to do a lot of mileage today. The guys in the factories built a complete new car and now we come here and it’s working great, so the team did a fantastic job over the winter. I was able to do some good long runs on the first day and that’s really amazing.

“We have such a great team and this is what makes me really happy. As a driver, you always want to find out how quick you are compared to the others – but that will have to wait until qualifying in Melbourne. The next testing days are all about making sure we know the car inside out and we’ve made a good start with that today.”

Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Toto Wolff admitted it was a very solid opening day of testing in Spain, but insisted the team need to keep their feet firmly on the ground so they do not get ahead of themselves.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant or over-confident; We need to stay humble,” said Wolff. “It was a really good first day. For me it was the best one I’ve seen in terms of mileage and reliability.

“We didn’t push the limits in terms of the car and its systems. But for a first day we were very solid. Nico says it’s one of the best first days he’s had.

“Does it mean a lot? No. But it’s better to have a good first day than a bad one.”

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