Nico Rosberg has done more mileage than any other driver in a 2014 car thus far, the German having topped the laps completed charts at Jerez last week.
He already enjoyed a head start after he shook down the Mercedes during a promotional day at Silverstone the previous Friday.
“Definitely I think it’s a surprise to do so many laps,” said Rosberg. “It’s such a mission with this new technology and everything, and really to get this reliability so early on is really a positive. But we’ve got no idea where we are in terms of pace and all that. So it’s really early days.
“We expected it to be a couple of tough days here in Jerez, and it did start quite tough for us, but the team did a good job to turn it around, and now we’ve really got the kilometres going, and lots of laps, and I’m very pleased with that. That was the most important thing for this test here, just to do a lot of laps, because it’s laps that will show you where are the problems with the car, what are the weaknesses we need to focus on, and by doing all these laps we really learned a lot of things now, and that’s a good thing.
“Driving wise it’s all pretty similar. It’s a bit of a pity because the cars are slower, obviously we always prefer to go faster, so that’s not quite as nice. Other than that the big difference is the engine, the low rpm, the sound, and the gears that you use and all that. From then it’s just how much you need to use your brain to understand all the technology, the fuel saving, the ERS, how to use that. That’s going to be quite complicated.”
Rosberg would have run even more laps had he not handed the W05 to Lewis Hamilton for the last part of Friday’s running, although he says he didn’t mind sharing.
“I always want to drive all day every day, that’s clear, but it’s always been like that in the team, that we need to try and level things out in testing, that each driver gets a the same opportunity to do a similar amount of laps, and things like that. I know that because I had the same issue with Michael, where my car was breaking down all the time, and he managed to do loads of laps. And he jumped out and let me have a few laps too. That’s normal for us as a team.”