Felipe Nasr says that if Sauber can remain just 1.3secs behind Mercedes when the Australian Grand Prix gets underway in two weeks' time, it can be happy with the progress it has made over the winter.

A productive session that yielded 141 laps over the course of the day, Nasr was given the opportunity to work on both a race simulation and soft tyre runs, the latter allowing him to turn in a best lap time of 1min 24.071secs.

Third on the timesheets and just a tenth slower than the Williams of Valtteri Bottas, though Nasr is refusing to get carried away with the results, he is nonetheless certain the Sauber is going to be more competitive at the start of 2015 than it was at the end of 2014.

Related Articles

"It was a very productive day for me, and the most important thing for me right now is to get as much mileage as I can in the car and feel comfortable. We managed to work on a full programme today, doing fast laps in the morning with the medium and soft compounds and in the afternoon we completed a race simulation, with starts, pit stops, etc.

"I feel that the car is evolving every day and we are working in the right direction. The car has shown consistent and it?s responding the way we expected it to be.

"I do not want to get too excited, but being realistic we are much better than we were last year. We still don?t know where we are compared to the competition, but we made a step forward.

"If we are 1.3 seconds behind Mercedes in Australia we will be happy, as it is half what we had last year. But we will only know that when we get there."