Mercedes GP has made a step forward with its car at the Chinese Grand Prix, but it is still not enough to close the gap to Red Bull Racing yet, reckons Nico Rosberg.
Although Rosberg ended the first day of practice in Shanghai second quickest behind the McLarens, the German is cautious about the potential of his team on the back of its podium finish in Malaysia.
"We are going to bring upgrades all the time and our aim is to close the gap to the people in front. We have some parts here and they look to be working well, so we are making progress," said Rosberg.
"But it is not an easy thing to close the gap to Red Bull because they are quite far ahead. We had some good testing today to optimise the new parts and everything, so it is going in the right direction."
Rosberg thinks Mercedes should keep its ambitions in check for this weekend though, as the team eyes a performance improvement thanks to a major upgrade planned for the Spanish GP.
"At the moment it still looks a bit similar to recent races, so it looks like we are fighting McLaren but Red Bull are a bit further ahead. It is a similar pattern."
When asked if he felt he could repeat the top three finish from Malaysia, he said: "Not if everything goes normally, but with a bit of luck of course, yeah."