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F1 Australian GP: Rosberg ready to scratch race 'itch'

Nico Rosberg says he has never been more prepared to start an F1 campaign, as Mercedes gears up to dominate the category once again.
Nico Rosberg insists that he has never been more ready to start an F1 season as he prepares to deny Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton a third straight world championship title.

While Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel may want to have a say in that particular battle, Rosberg will go into 2016 as many people's choice to be Hamilton's biggest rival, particularly after Mercedes appeared to have something in hand during pre-season testing. The W07 builds on the success of its predecessors, which have claimed 32 wins from the past 38 races, providing a vital piece in Rosberg's puzzle as he works out how to overcome a team-mate that had his number in both 2014 and 2015.

The German won the final three races of last season, but Hamilton insists that he took his eye off the ball once the title was in his pocket, and the reigning champion was keen to stress that he as motivated as ever as the F1 circus counts down to the season-opening grand prix in Melbourne this weekend. Rosberg, meanwhile, counters with the usual upbeat pre-season rhetoric.

"I've had a great winter and done a few things differently for this year," he claimed, "I've never felt more ready to go. This is always a massively exciting time of year. Testing is important, of course, but what every driver really looks forward to is unleashing a new car flat-out for the first time. I'm already itching to get back out there, getting to know our latest Silver Arrow and pushing on, making progress with it. It's going to be a great battle."

Knowing that he needs to curb Hamilton's scoring potential in the early rounds, Rosberg is targeting victories from the opening run of 'flyaway' races, and had the upper hand in terms of testing times over the eight days of preparation in Barcelona, although he will be the first to admit that pre-season results mean little when competition heats up on race weekends. Mercedes, meanwhile, sets itself up as the target to beat for a third straight season, with good pace and reliability giving the German optimism that he can be a factor in the title fight.

"Limited testing gives everyone a big challenge, as you have to be efficient and make more of that time than anyone else," Rosberg reasoned, "It's even tougher when you're the benchmark, as you need to invent while others can invent and copy, but we've done our homework and I think it looks set to be a good year again for us. The level of build quality in the car - how it all fits together and all the little details - is just awesome.

"It's so impressive how the team keeps on pushing, aiming to be better all the time. Of course, we all know that Ferrari are right there with us and maybe some of the others will be up there too, but it's good to have that competition. With the team we have, I believe we can keep them behind."




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid. 04.03.2016.
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 with the media. 03.03.2016.
Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid. 03.03.2016.
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, The Safety car and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10 and Felipe Massa (BRA) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM010 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and the Safety car
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
25.06.2017 - Race, 1st place Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13, 2nd place Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 and 3rd place Lance Stroll (CDN) Williams FW40
25.06.2017 - Race, Esteban Ocon (FRA) Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
25.06.2017 - Race, Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W08 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H

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Taz

March 15, 2016 9:11 PM

Tesla: rob01 - thank you for jump into a quick but unsubstantiated conclusion!
Rob (or anyone else) doesn't have a clue about the forum software (including crash). He know's an awful lot about Vettel though :)

Taipan

March 16, 2016 12:26 PM

Taz:
Tesla: rob01 - thank you for jump into a quick but unsubstantiated conclusion!
Rob (or anyone else) doesn't have a clue about the forum software (including crash). He know's an awful lot about Vettel though :)
Are you getting plagued by the ridiculous full page ads as well mate or is that just a punishment for me because I called the humourless, heavy handed moderator humourless and heavy handed? :p



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