Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg made a trip down to Melbourne Victory’s training ground at Gosch’s paddock for a penalty shootout earlier today.

Rosberg, who has always stated that if he wasn’t a Formula One driver he’d be a Football player, was anxious to get going – walking onto the ground with shoes and socks in hand.

Nico laces up for his penalty shootout

Nico laces up for his penalty shootout

He and Melbourne Victory players Adrian Leijer and Guilherme Finkler, took turns having shots for goal.

Once the fun and games were over, Rosberg fielded questions from the media, talking about Mercedes’ pre-season testing and giving his thoughts on the performance of the car.

“I’m feeling very confident, good testing so very optimistic,” he told the media.

Of course the main concern for Mercedes, like the other ten teams, is reliability.

“From the point of view of reliability yes things will be unreliable because yes for sure some cars will stop. Probably some won’t even make it off the grid [laughs]”

“Only by doing laps can you see where the problems are in the car, and a lot of things were braking for everybody which is normal” he said.

In unison with fellow F1 drivers, Rosberg is eagerly awaiting the season opener at Albert Park this weekend and enjoys the challenge put forth by the circuit.

The semi-permanent street circuit offers a lot of kerbs, different corners and a bumpy surface so it can be tough on drivers.

Fuel management seems to be more present on the drivers mind now, as new regulations restrict the amount a driver is allowed in a race.

“The big challenge this year is going to be fuel consumption in the race because it’s very limited; we can only put 100kg of fuel in the car.

There’s two things you can do, one is the engine management you can turn it down, and the other thing is as a driver I can drive in a more fuel efficient way. For example before I get to the end of the straight, I lift off the throttle and I just coast towards the corner and then brake afterwards and you don’t lose much lap time like that.” Rosberg explained.

Heading into the weekend, Mercedes are clear favourites to be on top with the customer teams not too far behind.

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Josh Kruse

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