Ferrari have yet to show true colors, says Rosberg

Mon Apr 4, 2016 3:09pm EDT
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By Alan Baldwin

LONDON (Reuters) - Ferrari are closer to Mercedes than results have suggested in this season's two races and look like posing a real challenge, according to Formula One world championship leader Nico Rosberg.

The German, who has scored a maximum 50 points after winning in Australia and Bahrain, told reporters he had no illusions about the challenge ahead.

"We know Ferrari are super close, we saw it in qualifying and we need to keep pushing," said Mercedes driver Rosberg. "They haven't shown what they are able to do yet in these first two races.

"They've had so many mishaps that have cost them dearly so we haven't seen the real Ferrari yet. We need to be careful, they are coming at us strong."

While Mercedes have won the last eight races, and Rosberg five in a row, there was evidence to suggest Ferrari have closed the gap and could have won in Australia and Bahrain.

In Melbourne, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen jumped Rosberg and triple champion team mate Lewis Hamilton at the start and potentially had a winning strategy until the race was stopped and re-started after Fernando Alonso's big crash.

Vettel finished third after a wrong tire strategy call while Raikkonen retired with flames flickering from the airbox of his car in what looked like a turbo failure.

In Bahrain, four-times world champion Vettel qualified in third place but retired before the start with a power unit failure.   Continued...

Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg of Germany celebrates after winning the Bahrain F1 Grand Prix March 4, 2016. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed