In a rare show of brash confidence, Nico Rosberg has admitted he is expecting to win "a lot" of races in 2014.
Bernie Ecclestone said recently that with Mercedes emerging from Jerez testing as the early season favourite, German Rosberg was his pick for the title.
"That's a cool statement from him," Rosberg told the Berliner Kurier newspaper on Monday at a sponsor event.
"We are in a good mood that this season we can win a lot of races," he added.
For the calculated 28-year-old Nico Rosberg, and the corporately cautious Mercedes, it is a surprising statement.
But the silver camp has reason to be confident.
"The first test went really well," said Rosberg. "We are doing well. My new car was very reliable from the beginning, but how we are as compared to the competition, we don't know yet.
"Unfortunately it's still a bit early to talk about the title," he continued. "But on reliability it (Jerez) was a strong performance by the team.
"I did lap after lap when we have so much to learn, which is a nice feeling when you see that the others couldn't drive very much."
The main 'others', of course, are Red Bull, led in the cockpit by the reigning quadruple world champion Sebastian Vettel.
Rosberg insisted: "There is no joy in seeing that they can't drive much; I'm happy if we are in a position to win.
"But it's obvious that Red Bull and Renault have problems with the new powertrain.
"We have done our homework better. But the important thing is to see where we are on the grid in Melbourne -- I would love to be able to fight against Sebastian," Rosberg added.
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