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Rosberg not yet ringing Mercedes alarm bells

Nico Rosberg is not yet ringing the alarm bells about Mercedes’ new formula one car.

Recently, when discussing the German marque’s 2010 season, Michael Schumacher admitted he had known by the second winter test that “it was going to be a tough year”.

12 months on, Jerez this week is the scene of the second test of the 2011 pre-season, and Nico Rosberg was a worrying 3 seconds off the pace in the new silver W02 on Thursday.

“This is an interim car,” the German insisted, according to Bild newspaper.

“So you can’t just look at the pace as we have so many new parts to come.”

Also poor on Thursday was the car’s reliability, but Rosberg said technical problems are something “you always expect” from a new single seater.

At the other end of the timesheets, Thursday’s fastest runner was also not overstating the results of the Jerez order.

“The fastest time?  It means nothing,” Ferrari’s Felipe Massa is quoted in the Italian media.