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Ferrari yet to show true pace due to "mishaps" - Rosberg

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Ferrari yet to show true pace due to "mishaps" - Rosberg
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Apr 20, 2016, 12:57 PM

Nico Rosberg insists that he and Mercedes cannot relax given the potential threat from Ferrari, and says the Italian marque simply "hasn't shown what it can do yet".

Podium: winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team, second place Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
Start action
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF16-H and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H make contact at the start of the race
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H battle for position
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 and Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF16-H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 and Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07
Race winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team with third place Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 Team
Podium: winner Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1 Team

Rosberg, who scored his third win of the season in China, cautioned that the Maranello team has struggled to enjoy a clean weekend.

"Ferrari haven't really shown what they can do at all yet, they've had so many mishaps all the time, and we really think they are very, very close to us," the German said.

"So we really need to keep our heads down, keep pushing. Even in qualifying Kimi messed up, otherwise he would have been on it, close to us. So we need to keep going."

Rosberg also noted that he sees Red Bull as a potential threat.

"Red Bull was a surprise this weekend, they were close in qualifying, and close in the race.

"Although we do see Ferrari right on us, and Red Bull were still half a second away this weekend, and that's still a big chunk.

"But they did make a big step, which was a surprise, considering that they likely don't have as much engine power as us. They are a force to be reckoned with as well."

Still all to play for

On the nine previous occasions that a driver has won the opening three races of an F1 season, he has gone on to win the world championship.

However, Rosberg wasn't impressed by that statistic.

"But they didn't have Lewis Hamilton as their teammate, those other nine," he noted.

"I don't see it that way at all. It's a handful of races now. Yeah, it's gone really well.

"[But it's the] longest season in F1 history, Lewis Hamilton my team mate, double World Champion [with Mercedes], hard to beat in the previous three years.

"So it's going to be a great battle, I look forward to it. Of course I have a little bit of an advantage now, which is good, better that way than the other way. That's it really, just enjoying it, and I'm going to make the most of it race by race."

Hamilton "on top of his game"

Regarding Hamilton's recent streak of misfortunes, Rosberg said: "I don't really think about that. It's a fact that it's going to be a great battle against him, as always. He's at the top of his game, as ever, fully concentrated and motivated and everything.

"That's it really. I'm just focussed on my thing and getting the job done to the best of my ability, and that's worked out well for the first three."

Rosberg added that his experience of the last two title fights will help him this year.

"I try to make progress of course, but it's difficult to say now that I'm driving much better.

"Of course the experience will help a little bit, because now it's the third year that I'm in this situation, so that's likely to give me a little bit of help."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Adam Cooper