Even though Mercedes have dominated the 2014 Formula One season so far, Nico Rosberg believes Red Bull remain the team to beat this year.
Red Bull and Sebastian Vettel has won the last four Constructors' and Drivers' Championship titles respectively, but have struggled to compete with Mercedes drivers Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton so far this season.
Although the reigning champions are making gradual improvements to their car, the Mercedes pair have already opened up a significant gap to their rivals on both the Constructors' and Drivers' Championship standings.
Rosberg, though, maintains that the Milton Keynes outfit remains the "benchmark" all the other teams are compared to.
"Very recently Red Bull was still the benchmark and is still the benchmark as a team - I don't think it changes that quickly - so we need to be careful and keep on improving ourselves, which we are doing, to keep our advantage or even extend it," Rosberg told Sky Sports.
"The target needs to be to extend it, that's going to be very ambitious, but that needs to be the target. At least keep our advantage and I'm optimistic that we can achieve that. But saying that, this year it's a development race which is much more extreme than we've seen in recent years because the regulations are so new.
"When the regulations are new the development curve just goes straight up for the first period and then it flattens off at some point once you can't really find so much more. But in the beginning the teams are learning so much...it's really important to keep on it because the chances for the teams behind us to catch up are much bigger than, for example, if we were being in the same situation last year because the development is just going to be huge this year."
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