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Nico Rosberg is not getting carried away by Mercedes’ impressive times in testing in Bahrain after highlighting the fact the new W05 car has had four stoppages during the week.
The German driver stood out on the final day as he completed an impressive lap time of 1:33.283 on soft tyres – a second quicker than what team-mate Lewis Hamilton managed on the same compound on the third day.
McLaren’s Jenson Button was the next fastest on day four but he was 1.6 seconds slower than Rosberg, who was also within a second of his own pole time from last year’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
Mercedes have already been tipped as the team to watch going into the new era in Formula One and Rosberg’s successful 57-lap grand prix equivalent run in the afternoon added weight to those claims.
But Rosberg was quick to point to the stoppages which have hampered them and was played down their chances as he looked ahead to the final test before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix on March 16.
“For sure it’s positive at the moment,” he said. “In terms of reliability I managed to complete the race distance today, so that’s been good.
“Nevertheless the car did break afterwards so there’s still some way to go. So problems arising here and there, which is totally normal, and in comparison to other teams we are in a good position with reliability.
“But even us we need to be 100% bullet proof by the time we get to Melbourne, which is a massive challenge and very, very difficult. So that’s where the focus needs to be on.”