F1: Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg ready for favourite Grand Prix in China
Rosberg too the chequered flag last year
Wednesday 10 April 2013
Nico Rosberg is hoping to again prove he is a 'Shanghai specialist' this weekend.
Rosberg has led 78 of a total of 168 laps during the course of the last three Chinese Grands Prix, most notably taking the chequered flag last year.
That gave Mercedes what has so far been their only victory in Formula One since their much-heralded return to the sport in 2010.
Following a positive start to the new season from the Brackley-based team in Australia and Malaysia there is obvious hope this could again be their year at the Shanghai International Circuit.
Rosberg said: "I travel to China with very good memories from winning my first Formula One race in Shanghai last year, and having led the race there for the past three years.
"I enjoy the track a great deal and I have a positive feeling going there with the car we have at the moment.
"The team have been working very hard to develop it since returning from Malaysia, so after a strong start to the season I'm confident we can keep pushing and hopefully score some good results in China and Bahrain."
In Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes possess the two drivers who have triumphed in Shanghai the last two years, with the latter winning with McLaren in 2011.
After finishing third last time out in Malaysia, albeit contentiously as Rosberg was told to hold station behind Hamilton over the closing stages, the Briton naturally feels he has a platform on which to build.
"I'm looking forward to getting to China and going racing again as it feels like a long time since Malaysia," said Hamilton.
"My first two races with my new team have been a great experience and everyone has made me feel so welcome.
"We've had a better start than we expected, and to have finished in fifth and third places so far is really positive.
"I know there is much more to come, so we will keep working hard and pushing the development of the car."
With new parts on the car for the race, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is eager to draw closer to Red Bull after pushing them hard in Malaysia for the majority of the event.
"Our season has started well, perhaps better than we expected," said Brawn.
"However, we're fully aware there is still a gap to close and that we must keep up the pace of development.
"A lot of hard work has taken place at our factories over the last two weeks to do just that, and I look forward to seeing how that translates to track performance."
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