Ross Brawn said he was pleased with the progress Mercedes has made during pre-season testing after seeing both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton impress during the final session of the year in Barcelona.
Hamilton set a storming time at the wheel of the F1 W04 on Saturday to top the times only for Rosberg to go even faster on Sunday to set the best lap seen at Catalunya over eight days of testing.
The duo also completed more laps than anyone else during the second four-day test to leave many suggesting that the team will be a contender during the year ahead.
Speaking following the conclusion of Mercedes' pre-season running, Brawn said he was happy with the way in which the Brackley-based team had performed in Spain, although he admitted there was still plenty to do be done before the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
“With the conclusion of our testing programme, I am pleased with the progress that the team has made over the last month and the steps forward that have been made with the car,” he said. “We have achieved our objectives for the test programme and the mileage that we have been able to complete has been very satisfying. Lewis has settled into the team extremely well and everyone has enjoyed working with both him and Nico throughout the three tests.
“We now have one final week back at the factory to complete our preparations; both drivers will be at the factory this week and, as always, there is a lot of work to do in a short space of time. We're realistic about our performance here and our position once we get to Melbourne, and we look forward to the challenge of a new season ahead.”
Despite his pace-setting performance however, Rosberg was eager to play down expectations for the year ahead, insisting that rivals had yet to show their hand.
"As we all know, we have to be very careful with the results of testing because you just don't know what other people are doing and we know for a fact that our competitors haven't shown their potential yet,” he told Sky Sports News
. “So we need to be very careful. What I can say is that we have made progress and I am pleased with how the winter has gone. Everything has gone to plan and the reliability has been sorted out. 'Pleased' is probably the best word, but we need to wait and see for Melbourne.
"For sure, I can see that back in the factory things are working well and everything has come together at testing, but performance-wise we still need to wait for Melbourne to see where we are."