Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes still has room for improvement in unlocking the secrets to Pirelli's tyres, despite its dominant victory in the Chinese Grand Prix
Although the Brackley-based team bounced back from tyre troubles in the first two races of the season to deliver a triumph in Shanghai, Rosberg says that it is not yet in a position to feel it has cracked its previous problems.
"For sure we have learned a lot, but it is such a complex issue that we are not done with learning that is for sure," Rosberg told AUTOSPORT. "And it is a key point for the season: who is going to understand the tyres best?"
Rosberg says that a better picture of Mercedes' form will become evident in Bahrain - where higher temperatures and the Sakhir's characteristics that make it a rear tyre-limited venue, will expose any weaknesses in its package.
"We really need to be careful because we had massive problems in the previous two races," explained the German. "We worked hard and improved things, but I don't think we were able to completely sort everything and all of a sudden we are absolutely the quickest team by far. I don't think that is the case.
"We need to be a bit more careful. It will definitely be more difficult here, and it is so difficult to predict how problematic is it going to be. It will be for sure very problematic but will it be as problematic for other teams or not?"
Rosberg reckons, however, that his triumph in China was less of a shock than the tyre problems he suffered in Australia.
When asked which event surprised him more, Rosberg said: "Both really. Although probably more Australia. Pre-season, in testing, we did think we would be pretty strong, so definitely Australia was the one that was more the bigger surprise."
Having now won a grand prix, Rosberg admitted that his attitude to the season was far more positive than it had been before.
"I feel a little bit happier at the moment because I know I have a car where I can look forward to doing well in my sport in the weeks to come," he said. "And that is a nicer feeling to before when we were not looking too good in the races, in Malaysia and Australia. That is the only difference really."
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