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Nico Rosberg sets fastest lap of Barcelona tests and then says W06 was misbehaving!

German finishes day over a second clear of the chasing pack, but says Silver Arrows were chasing a balanced set up all day

Nico Rosberg has added insult to the injured pride of the rest of the field by revealing he wasn't happy with the set up of his Mercedes when it set the fastest lap of the Barcelona tests so far.

Rosberg’s stunning lap of 1:22.792 was both nearly three seconds faster than pole position at the Circuit de Catalunya last May and more than half a second clear of this winter’s previous benchmark set by Williams on the first day of the final test.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner described the lap – which was almost immediately followed by another 1:22.8 from the Mercedes – as “pretty ominous”, but there was further cause for anxiety in the paddock after the session when Rosberg suggested that the world champions were still yet to find the sweet spot of their new car.

“Today was a difficult day because even though all the numbers looked like they were in the right place in the set up, the set up was actually very, very far away from where it needed to be and we don’t really understand that,” Rosberg told Sky Sports News HQ.

“So the whole day we were chasing the set up and trying to find the direction and it was really difficult to find where to go, we had a lot of oversteer in the car so the rear was all over the place and poor traction.

“Eventually in the end it was feeling more and more decent and putting the soft tyre on that gives the grip anyway, so with the soft tyre it doesn’t really matter what the balance is because it will be more or less possible to do a good lap. I am pleased with my laps because they are both identical - so a good ending.”

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 at Formula One Testing, Day Two, Barcelona, Spain, 27 February 2015..

From trackside the W06 appeared to be in a formula of its own, looking planted and effortless to drive as Rosberg swept through the high-speed turns at the Circuit de Catalunya, but the German rejected any notion the car was easy to drive.

More from Barcelona Tests 2015

“That is not what it feels like, it feels very much the opposite,” the Mercedes driver added.

“Today the car was really not good on the rear, it was the opposite of planted – that is my subjective opinion of course, it might look good from the outside compared to everyone else – but I always want better and better. So it is still a work in progress.”

Rosberg was also worried by how long it took Mercedes to rectify their set up issues, given he wouldn’t have eight hours of track time to experiment on a race weekend.

“The whole day we were going in the right direction, but it took a long, long time because we were extremely far away and that and that is extremely unusual and so it caught us off guard a little bit,” the German said.

“We are confident that we have a good car because we have a great team at the moment, but at the same time we are also well aware that the others have been posting some quick times and keep working.”

The fastest laps after six days of testing in Barcelona
Image: The fastest laps after six days of testing in Barcelona

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