Nico Rosberg says he still expects Ferrari to be a threat in both qualifying and the race despite setting a blistering pace in practice for the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Only Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton had the speed to live with Rosberg as the German topped both 90-minute practice sessions at the Bahrain International Circuit on Friday, the pair ramping up the margin over their rivals as they worked their way through to the supersoft tyres. By the end of the cooler, and faster, evening session, Rosberg was fully 1.2secs clear of surprise third-place man Jenson Button, with the Ferraris - both of whom had been definite rivals in Australia - back in fifth and sixth places.

"It's a good start to the weekend and, of course, it's better to be first than second," he smiled, "It feels good out there, but it's early days and Friday doesn't count for anything.

"We expect Ferrari to be a threat and, for sure, it's going to be tough against them. They've been close so we need to keep pushing, but we're looking good, we had a good day today, we were quick, so we're happy."

Despite the Mercedes advantage, however, Rosberg was not entirely happy, as cooler than expected temperatures in the desert contradicted the tyre choices made several weeks in advance of the event.

"It was okay, a decent start to the weekend and we [could] go through everything that was planned, practicing for qualifying, practicing for the race, but the temperatures are very surprising," he confirmed, "It's really cold out there and we had to choose the tyres for all the races already a few months ago, so we're stuck with them. We can't now say 'okay, it's colder, let's change them' and that could be challenging for us this weekend because, with the colder temperatures, it destroys the tyres much more."



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