FORMULA 1: Nico Rosberg says he has sharpened his knives for the new Formula One season and is ready to take on champion Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton and anyone else who fancies their title chances.
The German, runner-up last year as Hamilton collected his second crown, told the official formula1.com website that he felt stronger than ever and was sure the new Mercedes was better.
Asked whether he already had his metaphorical knives "sharpened" for the season, Rosberg said he had started doing that as soon as the last campaign ended in Abu Dhabi.
"For now it is Lewis - and whoever else wants to have a go at the knife," he added with a laugh when asked about the main target.
The two Mercedes team mates, who have known and raced against each other from boyhood, had a tense relationship last season as they battled for the title.
Rosberg expected more of the same. "We have a relationship that goes up and down - and it will continue to go up and down," he said. "It is an intense battle between us and that will not change any time soon.
"Last year's experience helps," he added of this year's challenge. "It's that 'been there, done that' kind of thing. All the difficult times have made me stronger. It is the difficult moments where I learn the most."
Ecclestone has German hopes
FORMULA 1: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone is hoping to know by the weekend whether a German Grand Prix will take place this year.
The situation was clouded when Ecclestone responded to an enquiry from Rhein-Zeitung newspaper via email in which he appeared to categorically rule out the race happening.
On FOM (Formula One Management) headed paper, Ecclestone said: "I am just as sorry that there will not be a Formula One race in Germany as our fans. It is just a case that as the attendance has been so low for the last few years that it is not commercially viable for the promoters in Germany."
As the race alternates between Hockenheim and Nurburgring, it should be the latter's turn to play host this year, but a raft of owners and financial issues have plagued the venue.