BARCELONA: Nico Rosberg admitted he was surprised at the performance advantage he and Lewis Hamilton enjoyed in their one-two victory ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in the Spanish Grand Prix.
Despite gaining second place ahead of defending champion Hamilton at the start, four-time champion Vettel was overhauled by Mercedes’ three-stop strategy and finished 45 seconds adrift.
“I think it was a surprise,” said Rosberg. “It was much more than we have seen in recent races. It is a big step in the right direction and a bit of a surprise.
“But it confirmed and showed we have an awesome car at the moment. I think we won the development race this weekend so for us this is an important indication for the season.”
Vettel disagreed with Rosberg’s assessment.
“I don’t think this is the reality,” said the German. “In general, I think our car is fine on every circuit this year, so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be competitive here,” he said.
“Yes, we hoped to be a bit a closer, but it’s not over yet.
“In the past, this circuit is usually quite a good indication of how good your car is and so we still have some work to do. Obviously everybody has to push to make a step forward so I am looking forward to the next races.
“Maybe one race is not enough to confirm everything.”
Meanwhile, Hamilton finished in the top two for the 12th consecutive race — a run that is the second best of all time.
Only seven-time champion Michael Schumacher has managed more top two results in a sequence, 15 in 2002.