Nico Rosberg insists that Mercedes does not need to be battling for the World Championship this year to judge its 2013 season a success.
Amid an increased focus on the team following the capture of Lewis Hamilton and a major management overhaul, Mercedes is under no illusions about how important this season will be. But after a difficult start to its pre-season testing program at Jerez this week – with Rosberg having been stopped on course due to an electrical problem after comparatively few laps and Hamilton crashing out – Mercedes has found out the hard way just how much work is needed. Rosberg, however, thinks it vital that expectations are not raised too high, and he believes season-long consistency will be just as important as a few headline-grabbing performances.
"Improvement can be in being more consistent through the year, not like last year where we started OK and completely fell off," said Rosberg, referring to a 2012 campaign that started with the squad fighting for wins but ending it struggling to score points.
"An improvement could also be a very OK car through the whole season, with a win or two, or something. But what we need is progress. We need to move forward and we need to go through this season thinking, 'OK, we are on the right track to become the best.'"
Rosberg returned to action for Mercedes at Jerez on Thursday, hoping for better luck after the troubles the team has encountered with its W04 so far.