March 01, 2017

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Retired Formula One champion Nico Rosberg seemed to have a good time, and no regrets, on Wednesday at the track.

Rosberg, who walked away from the series five days after winning the title with Mercedes last year, was at the Circuit Barcelona-Catalunya for the third day of preseason testing.

''For me it was cool because there was not one single moment where I thought, `Oh, damn, I should be sitting in that car,''' the 31-year-old Rosberg said. ''That was interesting for me to realize. And perfect, of course.''

Rosberg was at the Barcelona track for the morning test session, which was led by his replacement at Mercedes, Valtteri Bottas. Rosberg spent most of his time in the paddock, talking to several drivers and teams.

''It was a nice experience for me,'' Rosberg said. ''First of all, of course, seeing my racing family again was fun.''

Rosberg showed optimism about the future of F1 under the regulation changes that led to bigger and faster cars.

''It's awesome, the vibe at the moment,'' he said. ''Everybody is so excited. There is just such a hype at the moment, and that's perfect, that's what the sport needs. So it's all going in the right direction. Big hope that the sport can become even better.''

Rosberg said he expects the new cars to take the drivers to the limit physically.

''They look like proper monsters and that's how it should be,'' he said. ''F1 should be absolutely very, very extreme. With those cars the drivers need to be gladiators out there. Now they are hurting bad, all of them. And that's great to hear, that's how it should be also, it should take the drivers physically to their absolute limits and maybe we will even see some races where someone will lose a win because he's just knackered. That would be exciting.''

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