Nico Rosberg claims Mercedes are the best in F1 as he poses with Australian Grand Prix trophy ahead of curtain raiser in Melbourne

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg expects Mercedes to lead the way this season, hailing his team as the best in Formula One.

Rosberg will renew his championship battle with team-mate Lewis Hamilton when the season gets underway at the traditional Albert Park curtain raiser in Melbourne on Sunday.

Mercedes won 16 of the 19 races last term, and their ominous form in pre-season testing sees them start the new campaign as clear title favourites.

‘We are looking good and we are very optimistic for the new season,’ said Rosberg, who finished runner-up to team-mate Hamilton in 2014.

‘We are the best in F1 now. We have the best individual departments, we have the best overall team, we have the best engine factory – they’re just doing an awesome job. Our race team is leading the way.’

Damon Hill, the 1996 world champion, suggested earlier this week that Rosberg must re-invent himself in order to challenge Hamilton for the championship.

And the German, winner of the last year’s season opener in Melbourne, has conceded that he must improve this term if he is going to prevent Hamilton from winning a third title.

‘I have to be that little bit better,’ said Rosberg, who won six fewer races than his team-mate last season. ‘Last year wasn’t quite enough and I just need to try to look for a little bit extra.’

Rosberg presented this year’s Australian Grand Prix trophy to the assembled media on Wednesday after boarding a tram to the Albert Park circuit.

‘I have focussed on pushing myself even harder for the rematch with Lewis,’he added. ‘In the end, it comes down to who can put the best season together overall, and I have to make sure it’s the other way around this time.’


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