Abu Dhabi

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3 Valtteri Bottas

Rosberg backs testing delay

2012-01-04 11:54:00

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Rosberg backs testing delay

Nico Rosberg is confident that Merc GP have made the right decision by missing the first round of pre-season testing...

Nico Rosberg is confident that Merc GP have made the right decision by missing the first round of pre-season testing in order to spend extra time developing the W03.


The team announced in early December that they would only be debuting their 2012 model - the W03 - at the second testing run on February 21 at Circuit de Catalunya, missing the first block of testing at Jerez from February 7-10.

"As always, the winter development and manufacturing processes are a trade-off between time for finding performance in the factory, and time for delivering that performance during pre-season testing," said team principal Ross Brawn.

"We believe that the decision to run the car at the second winter test is the optimum compromise for our design and development programme with F1 W03."

The team got off to a nightmare start in 2011, with both Rosberg and Michael Schumacher failing to finish the season-opening Australian GP. But with a new strategy and the arrival of technical directors Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis from Ferrari and HRT respectively, Rosberg is confident that the team are heading in the right direction.

"It is just the choice that they have made and I am happy with that," Rosberg told Autosport of the decision to miss the test.

"It is the compromise between testing early enough and having enough time to develop. And they need to find a middle way - and they have decided that that is the best way to do it.

"With the way the factory is going now, I am confident.

"This year we would not have managed to do the first race if we had run the car that late, but with the way the factory is now optimised, I am confident that we can quite happily make it happen and the car can race very soon after the first test - with just a few bits and pieces that need to be sorted out. That shows already that the team is a big improvement."

The sun rises as Raikkonen puts in his first lap of the morning

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