Nico Rosberg feels Williams will pose a greater threat than Ferrari or Red Bull to Mercedes at the Austrian Grand Prix as he hunts a hat-trick of victories at Spielberg.
The Mercedes driver re-established a 24-point lead over team-mate Lewis Hamilton with victory in Baku after a run of poor results in Spain, Monaco and Canada and now heads to a circuit he's dominated at in the past two years.
Since the Spielberg circuit returned to the F1 calendar in 2014 after a ten-year hiatus – while being rebranded as the Red Bull Ring – Rosberg has claimed consecutive wins for Mercedes and is duly targeting a hat-trick this weekend.
As well as the threat of his team-mate Hamilton, Rosberg sees the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas as his main threat rather than Ferrari or Red Bull after the British team's recent record.
Williams claimed a front-row lockout in 2014 with Bottas taking his maiden F1 rostrum result, while Massa also grabbed a podium behind the Mercedes pair last year.
“It'll be tough against the Williams cars in particular, as they've pushed us hard there before,” Rosberg said. “But I think our Silver Arrow is still definitely the best package on the grid and I can't wait to see what it can do in Spielberg.
“To have two wins from two races at any track is pretty special, so if I could make it three in three that would be awesome.”
Looking to carry his positive momentum from his fifth win of the year from Baku, Rosberg puts has an extra importance on qualifying and the first turn as the foundation for a strong result with overtaking opportunities limited around the relatively short 2.684-mile circuit.
“It's a short run to the first corner there and generally my starts and first corners have been strong this season, so if I can qualify well there's a good chance of a top result,” he said. “I'm looking forward to the weekend.”