Extending late 2015 momentum not easy – Rosberg

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Nico Rosberg thinks carrying over its late-2015 form into the new season will not be easy, but the Mercedes driver says he enters the upcoming campaign with ‘more confidence’.

While beaten to the title by team-mate Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg ended the year on a high with six pole positions and three consecutive wins. His streak could have been even longer had he not suffered race-ending technical issues in Italy and Russia, nor made an error while leading in the US.

“The good string of results helps me in the sense that it just gives me more confidence going into the new season,” Rosberg replied when asked about his chances to extend the momentum in 2016.

“That’s a good thing and I’m happy about that, but then it is a new season and a new car, the tyres are a bit different so it’s not going to just be easy to continue that, not at all. It’s a new situation and everybody starts from scratch, but I’m optimistic.”

With Mercedes once again looking like the odds-on favourites, Rosberg is bound to lock horns with Hamilton in the championship fight. Although he wrapped up his third title with three races to go, the Briton said his performance dipped over the final stretch of last season, while also blaming setup changes on the Mercedes.

“I didn’t focus on him,” commented Rosberg. “I was focused on beating everyone else and I was very happy to come back with Finnish ‘sisu’ fighting spirit from the most difficult point of the season, which was Austin.

“That was tough to come back fighting strong and win every race from then on. That’s what I was pleased with. What other people were doing or not doing, I don’t know.”

Several former F1 drivers, including grand prix winner Gerhard Berger and 1996 world champion Damon Hill have already tipped Rosberg for success in 2016.

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Scene at the first pre-season test

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