Nico Rosberg believes Mercedes GP has turned the corner on its early season woes, after an encouraging uplift in speed at this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix.
Having had a troubled first event in Australia with car niggles, and struggling in Malaysia with aero inefficiency caused by the need to open up the car for cooling, the team saw Rosberg deliver its best grid slot of the season in China with fourth place in qualifying.
Having worked hard in the build-up to the event to understand why it struggled in the first two races, Rosberg is confident that it is now back on course to deliver on the promising form it showed in the final preseason test.
"For sure we have made some progress this weekend," said Rosberg, who will be gunning for his first points of the season in Shanghai. "It has been good from the word go.
"The engineers had a good think about it over the break from Malaysia and they took a few steps back, looking at where we could have gone wrong, and they came up with some good ideas. That has definitely improved things for us.
"Pace wise we have been looking much better all weekend. It has been a positive weekend as we have made progress, and it is going in the right direction – especially today. Looking at where we are, we can be pleased with the progress. Of course we are still not where we want to be, but we are definitely better."
Prior to securing fourth spot in Q3, Rosberg revealed that he feared he had failed to make it to the final stage of qualifying when he got stuck behind Sergio Perez's Sauber in the last-minute dash to set a time in Q2.
"I was convinced I was out because I was stuck behind Perez the whole lap, but fortunately it worked out," he explained. "It was like racing out there going into that lap. You were trying to get positions and overtake to be as far forward. It was very exciting and very nerve-wracking – and it was difficult to judge it to the last corner and get a good run.
"I judged it a little bit wrong in that I was too close to Perez, which I didn't anticipate as I thought my gap was enough to be able to do a decent lap. But it turned out not to be, as it was still enough."