EIGHTH IN A ROW? Mercedes driver, Nico Rosberg, is chasing his fifth win of the season at the 2016 Spanish GP. Image: AP / Pavel Golovkin
Madrid - With four consecutive race victories in 2016, Mercedes' Nico Rosberg is trying to stay calm.
After a perfect start to the Formula 1 season, Rosberg heads into this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix seeking his fifth win in as many races - and eighth in a row going back to last year.
He is coming off two consecutive pole positions and already has a significant lead over Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton.
READ: Rosberg cruises to Russian GP win
'Anything can happen'
Rosberg said: "Sport is all about ups and downs and being mentally prepared to bounce back stronger when they come. With a season this long you have to just take things race by race. There are 425 points still up for grabs and anything can happen."
Rosberg has been in top form since the end of last year, when he won three in a row to close out the season on his way to a runner-up finish behind Hamilton. He has continued to dominate in 2016 and is already 43 points ahead of his team mate, taking advantage of a series of mishaps that plagued the start of the season for the three-time world champion.
German Rosberg continued: "It's not something I could have expected, winning the first four races of the year. It's been a great start, but I'm just enjoying the moment and the form I'm in, doing my best to keep it going and hoping I can carry it through [to] the end of the season. I'm connecting really well with the car at the moment, which is great as it gives you this awesome confidence to push the limits."
Hamilton to remain positive
Hamilton is trying to remain positive despite his disappointing start.
Hamilton said: "We've got the car in a good place setup-wise. I just haven't been fully able to exploit it. So the glass is half full for me. It will be a big challenge, but there's a long way to go with 17 races left and, if the last four are anything to go buy, there's a lot more still to come from us."
Hamilton had to deal with mechanical problems that kept him from competing with Rosberg in the first four races.
READ: Hamilton asks fans to trust Mercedes '1000%'
Hamilton, who finished second at the Russian GP two weeks ago, said: "The team has been on it 24/7 since returning from Russia, so I'm confident they'll get to the bottom of the problems we've been having. I know I'm still quick. I've known that since day one in testing. I head to Spain confident of a good weekend."
Earlier in May 2016, Mercedes published an open letter to fans to dismiss speculation that it was favoring Rosberg over Hamilton. It said some of the mechanical issues happened because the team has been pushing the limits to ensure it remains competitive.
Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said: "It's tough to ask for more (this season). However, it has not been plain sailing and we have had problems that we are working hard to solve. We have rivals breathing down our necks who are relentless in their chase. If you push the limits, then at a certain stage you risk stepping over them."
Ferrari appears closer to Mercedes in speed this season, but it has also been plagued by mechanical failures to both of its drivers. Kimi Raikkonen is third in the drivers' standings, while Sebastian Vettel, who crashed at the Russian GP after twice being hit from behind by Daniil Kvyat, is fifth and 67 points behind Rosberg.
READ: Vettel denies link to Kvyat demotion
Teams will be at a familiar place at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya track, which is where pre-season testing took place over eight days in February and March. It's also where many teams start introducing significant upgrades to their cars, which could prompt a few surprises.
Williams driver Felipe Massa said: "Spain is always a track that most of the drivers know 100% because we are always testing there in the winter. I'd say that everyone pretty much knows the track. It is a circuit that a good car overall normally goes well because you have a little bit of everything, high-speed corners and low-speed corners. If the car works well here, it will work well on most of the tracks."