Nico happy with Barcelona test
Nico Rosberg was looking forward to the start of the season with optimism after topping the timesheets at the final winter test in Barcelona.
The Mercedes driver completed a paddock-leading 131 laps on the final day at the Circuit de Catalunya, the quickest of them in one minute, 20.130 seconds to outperform his nearest rival, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, by over a third of a second.
"I'm pleased with our pre-season testing programme," the German driver told formula1.com. "We have achieved a lot of mileage and I can feel that the balance of the car is good.
"I have the general feeling that we are in a better position than in the second half of last year but this is testing not racing, of course. The conditions in the first race will be completely different to here as it will be much hotter in Melbourne and Sepang so we need to wait and see."
Team-mate Lewis Hamilton was third fastest over the duration of the test and team principal Ross Brawn, whose position has been subject of speculation since the recruitment of McLaren technical director Paddy Lowe for the 2014 season, was pleased with both drivers' efforts.
Brawn said: "We have achieved our objectives for the test programme and the mileage that we have been able to complete has been very satisfying.
"Lewis has settled into the team extremely well and everyone has enjoyed working with both him and Nico throughout the three tests."
Kimi Raikkonen returned to his Lotus after missing yesterday's session due to illness, but was hampered by a gearbox problem and completed only 50 laps.
His best time of 1:21.658 left the Finn fifth fastest, though, and he said: "Personally, I felt much better today and I was fine driving.
"We ran through a lot of assessments this afternoon and the feeling in the team is that we have a strong basis to start the season, even if we haven't shown that every day. I'm happy with the car and looking forward to going racing."
Toro Rosso endured a difficult week of testing, with Daniel Ricciardo the second slowest of the 13 drivers to take to the track today and 21st of 23 overall and team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne only two places better in the week's standings.
But head of vehicle performance Laurent Mekies said: "As the STR8 is fundamentally a new car, with plenty of crucial changes for example on the suspension, on the aero side and in terms of the architecture of the car, we had a very big workload to tackle this month in Spain.
"Even if we did not win any records for high mileage, we got through a lot of work over the three weeks on track, during which the car ran reliably with no serious issues.
"The other new element was the Pirelli tyres, which have different characteristics to last year's. Alongside these challenges, the growth of our team has involved the introduction of some new engineers and a revised organisational structure so it's been a case of a very different team and a very different car."