Mercedes pair positive despite late issues

Mercedes pair positive despite late issues

15 March 2013 – Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were encouraged by their start to the weekend in Australia, despite both men ending the day on the side of the circuit.

Although a gearbox issue for Rosberg and an off for Hamilton cut the team's track time short, the pair showed strong pace during the two 90 minute practice sessions.

"That was an interesting day for us," said Rosberg, who ended the second session third fastest. "There are a lot of new things to learn with the car and we made some good progress over the day. We can certainly be happy with our testing programme when you compare where we came from last year.

"My car had a gearbox problem at the end of the second session but these things happen and it doesn't affect us for tomorrow."

Hamilton shared Rosberg's overall optimism, stating that he is 'happy with where we are' ahead of Saturday's all-important final practice and qualifying sessions.

"Overall it was a good day, if perhaps not the smoothest," said Hamilton. "I'm happy with where we are and to see Nico in third place on the timesheets shows that we're pretty competitive. That's a reflection of a great job that everyone has done at the factory and here at the track. I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend."

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