With reverberations surrounding team orders still emanating from a controversial Malaysian Grand Prix three weeks ago, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg was clearly bristling when the subject was raised again on Friday ahead of the 2013 Chinese GP at Shangahi International Circuit, where he is the defending race champion.

"I don't want to comment on that - and in fact it is history," the German racer said when asked yet another variation of question regarding how he'd been instructed by team principal Ross Brawn to hold station behind his team mate Lewis Hamilton for the closing laps at Sepang.

"It is out of my head," Rosberg insisted. "What is in my head right now is that the car feels really good and that I want to attack, attack, attack on Sunday."

While Sebastian Vettel has been in the spotlight for ignoring comparable team orders at Red Bull in the same race, Rosberg earned plaudits and a certain amount of sympathy after he did as he was told and came home in fourth position while Lewis Hamilton claimed the podium position just inches ahead.

"I respect my boss. It probably was a bit unfortunate that we hadn't discussed such a situation before the race, but that is solved now for the future," Rosberg explained. "Of course this is an ambivalent situation and as everybody can imagine it is absolutely not to my liking.

"We are one team and together we fight for the championship. If you have plans to win it you need the backing of your team, and that involves respecting orders, especially from your boss," he added, saying that the team had now discussed and put in place a strategy for any similar situations in the future so that everyone knew where they stood.

But Rosberg was not happy when asked if the team orders at Malaysia strongly suggested that Rosberg was now the team's number two driver behind Hamilton.

"Counter question: have you asked Sebastian Vettel if he is the number two driver now after he was told not to overtake Mark Webber in Malaysia?" he said with a steely edge to his voice. "Ah, you see!

"What I can say for Mercedes is that we don't have a number one or number two driver," he insisted. "That's how it was for all of the past three years where my team mate was seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher! Is this answer enough?"

Moving rapidly along, then... As for this week's race in Shanghai, Rosberg said that things had got off to a good start on Friday in China.

"It was good to be back on the track here in Shanghai where I have experienced some really good moments in my career," referring not least to his maiden GP win here in 2012. "The morning session went swimmingly, there was a little hiccup in the afternoon, but overall a promising start into the weekend.

"I felt very comfortable in the car and it was a productive day for us, we definitely learnt a lot. We looked good on one lap, but there is some work still to do on the longer runs," he added. "Tyre degradation was particularly high on the option tyre out there today, so we need to analyse this and decide what is best to do in the race."

So did Rosberg think he could claim a second consecutive win here?

"I'm a race driver and not a fortune teller!" he laughed. "What I can do is to look at the indicators: we had a constantly fast and good car at the first two races so the odds are good that we can keep that level here and next week in Bahrain.

"Definitely thumbs up," he added.