The German driver lapped the Bahrain International Circuit 103 times on Saturday despite a late start due to an engine change. The Mercedes night shift crew noticed a strange noise coming from the V6 Turbo power-unit and decided, as a precaution, to change it.
He lost a few hours of the morning session but had a highly productive afternoon, completing set-up evaluations, qualifying simulations and long runs. Overall, Rosberg is happy with the progress that has been made over the three pre-season tests.
“That was an incredible effort by the team and I’m really happy with our day’s work,” he said. “In the end I managed to do over 100 laps, so this was a very useful final day of testing for me and I learned a lot in the process. The only problem was the conditions, with a lot of wind and blowing sand at some corners meaning that suddenly you could have almost no grip which was a bit difficult to manage.
“Overall I can be really happy about my testing programme, so a big thanks to everyone in the team both here and back at the two factories for the remarkable job they’ve done. As is the case for everybody, we still have a few reliability problems that definitely need to be sorted out before Australia, but in general I think the winter tests have been better than expected.”
He added: “After some work in the simulator next week I will fly to Melbourne on Friday, and I can’t wait to be back in the car again.”
The Brackley-based outfit’s executive director (technical), Paddy Lowe, said the early issues caused modifications to be made to the planned programme, but he added that the team ended the session in a great position. Lewis Hamilton will conclude the team’s pre-season testing on Sunday.
Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG Petronas