Nico Rosberg might have been content with his performance on the opening day of the Russian Grand Prix, but insisted that he was not dismissing the Ferrari threat.
The German, who has won each of the three races held so far in 2016, was quick to point out that Sebastian Vettel had been forced out of the faster afternoon session while holding down top spot ahead of both Mercedes drivers, and did not have a chance to reply when Lewis Hamilton improved shortly afterwards. Vettel ended the day second overall, splitting the two Silver Arrows, two tenths clear of third-placed Rosberg, who was unable to put a clean lap together on supersofts in the second 90-minute session.
“My day was good because our car is fast, so I'm pleased to see that again,” the points leader reported, “It is a very, very different track, but the asphalt is strange here, just different to everywhere else - smooth might be the right word. It's not easy to get it right car-wise or driving-wise so it's been an interesting day, but good.
“We got off to a good start and our race pace was looking good as well. But, of course, we didn't see what Vettel could have done so we need to be cautious but, in general, I think it's been positive. The opportunity is there to win again so we need to try to make the most of it.”