Exclusive Q&A with Nico Rosberg 12 May 2007
He was the new sunshine boy in the paddock last year - blond, good looking and easy going. Now, with a years experience behind him and Williams on the rise once more, Nico Rosbergs focus is firmly on helping to pull the team clear of the midfield pack
Q: Everybody is full of praise for your performance so far. Are you satisfied?
NR: No driver is happy unless he wins a race, you know, but if we speak about pure satisfaction, I am satisfied with myself whenever I know that I have given 100 percent in whatever I am doing. It doesnt really matter if I win a race or if I dont even make it to the chequered flag, as long as I know I could not have given more.
I am a very competitive person and I want to succeed in everything I do, no matter if I am playing football with my old school friends or if I am racing in F1. I always do everything I can to succeed. The first three races have shown that the team has made good progress since last year with both car performance and reliability. So together we can be satisfied, although there is still much work to be done to get ahead of the midfield.
Q: How much easier is it now for you now that your rookie year is behind you? It must help to know all the tracks and the peculiarities of the Formula One paddock?
NR: Yes, no doubt about it. F1 is a unique world and last year I had to learn a lot. A GP weekend is not only about sitting in the car and driving, but also about fulfilling media and marketing commitments and several other duties. More experience makes me understand better where I should direct my efforts and energy.
Q: You have scored two points this year and made it into Q3 in qualifying in Malaysia and Bahrain, so it looks like the FW29 has potential and that team is over the worst from last year. Would you agree?
NR: Our aim this season is to do better than last year and consistently score points. After Australia and Malaysia, it looked like we were on top of the midfield. Bahrain was a bit tougher, but we know why we missed out and well work on addressing the situation at the Spanish GP this weekend. It is good to have two points, but I am really pushing to get many more
Q: Before the start of the European season there has been intense testing in Barcelona. What did you concentrate on? Will there be a B-version of the car, or just consistent development?
NR: We had three days of testing in Barcelona last week, we did not introduce a B-version we just had some improvements on the FW29. The test programme was set to compare the wind tunnel data and results to the ones on the track, while also focusing on new set-up directions. Much was interpreted in my shunt and what implications it possibly would have on our performance in the race. I can assure you it was just a normal accident that had no effect on our preparations for the weekend.
Q: A lot teams are still trying to get more out of the Bridgestone tyres - is that an issue at Williams?
NR: I wouldnt say it is an issue, but to get the best grip from the tyres together with the aerodynamic solutions in the car is the biggest challenge. The beginning of the season has shown that our car is strong in the races, we just have to get better in the qualifying. And naturally tyres play a big part in this. But, as I have said many times before, it is good that we dont have to use too much time testing tyres and we can focus more on other things in the car.
Q: As the engine and the tyres are now constant, the focus of improvement will obviously be aerodynamics - have you tested anything new?
NR: This is what testing is for! Now that tyre testing requires less time than in previous years, we focus more on new bits and pieces as well as set-up work for the coming races. Our two wind tunnels run 24/7 and there is not a day when we dont get new data. I cannot go into details, but yes, as everyone else does, we test new parts as well.
Q: Barcelona and Monaco are very different tracks. Where do you see the bigger potential for a good performance from Williams and why?
NR: Even though we do a whole lot of testing in Barcelona, it is a tricky circuit. Often when you get there for the GP, you find out that most of the data you have collected in testing the week before has changed. Its always difficult to make a prediction about Barcelona. On the other hand, Monaco is special for me. Racing in the town where I have lived all my life is great. Two years ago, I had a good race there in GP2 and now I have one race under my belt from last year in an F1 car. The track is quite unique, and last year we had a top running car, so I will go into the weekend with a very positive feeling - and looking to find points on my way