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Ask the Expert - Williams' Nico Rosberg 13 May 2009

Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 8 May 2009 Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Friday, 24 April 2009 Pitstop for Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW31.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 5 April 2009 Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 8 May 2009 Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams with the media.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Practice Day, Barcelona, Spain, Friday, 8 May 2009

What are the highest mountains in Germany and Finland? What did Frank Williams sell before he focused his attentions on motorsport? Which other famous sportsman was born in the German city of Wiesbaden? And what is the typical cruising speed and altitude for a long-haul commercial jet? These are just some of the questions we thought Williams’ Nico Rosberg would take in his stride after he agreed to be the latest participant in our personal trivia test, ‘Ask the Expert’...

Q: Last year, your team boss Frank Williams celebrated his 600th Grand Prix, but in what year was his first F1 entry, long before the formation of the current Williams team?
Nico Rosberg:
The year was 1969! The race? I will have to guess… Zandvoort?
Correct - it was in 1969, not at Zandvoort, but at the Spanish Grand Prix at Montjuic Park. Williams entered a Brabham BT26 for his friend Piers Courage.

Q: You won the GP2 championship back in 2005, while your ART team mate Alexandre Premat finished in fourth. Last season, however, Premat won his own championship - in what series?
NR:
Holy Moses! Obviously he didn’t win in DTM. Must have been the Le Mans Series.
Correct - with Audi.

Q: At what race did your father Keke score his first Formula one victory with Williams?
NR:
That was in Dijon in 1982. It was the Swiss GP!
Correct

Q: How many races, drivers’ titles and constructors’ titles have Williams won?
NR:
I think they’ve won 11 constructor’s titles and nine driver’s titles. Races? I would put that down to 90.
Zero out of three - they have won 113 races, seven drivers’ championships and nine constructors’ championships.

Q: You were born in Wiesbaden, but can you name another famous sportsman to have been born in the German city?
NR:
In Wiesbaden? I didn’t know there was one. No idea.
Incorrect - tennis star John McEnroe was born on a U.S. military base at Wiesbaden.

Q: What was your father Keke’s best performance for McLaren?
NR:
Second in Monaco in 1986.
Correct

Q: You have dual German and Finnish nationality. What is the Finnish national anthem called?
NR:
Ah, I have no idea.
Incorrect - it is called ‘Our Land’ or in Finnish, ‘Maamme’.

Q: During his motorsport career, your team mate Kazuki Nakajima has won one single-seater championship. In which series?
NR:
Japanese Formula Three?
Incorrect, but close - it was the Formula Toyota series in Japan in 2003.

Q: When you made your F1 debut at the 2006 Bahrain Grand Prix, you became the youngest ever driver to score a fastest lap, aged 20. Who held that record before you?
NR:
Fernando Alonso.
Correct - Alonso scored his first aged 21 at the 2003 Canadian Grand Prix.

Q: You’re a fan of chess but how many rows and columns are there on a chess board?
NR:
Eight rows, eight columns.
Correct

Q: When did Williams last take a victory and which driver scored it?
NR:
JPM in Brazil in 2004.
Correct - it was indeed Juan Pablo Montoya.

Q: You list climbing among your interests. Can you name the highest mountains in your ‘home’ countries of Germany and Finland?
NR:
Wow, what a question! In Germany must be somewhere down in the Alps. Zugspitze! Correct? I’m really impressed by myself! Finland I have no clue whatsoever.
Half marks - Zugspitze in Germany, Halti (or Haltiatunturi) in Finland.

Q: With which team did Williams’ technical director Sam Michael make his Formula One debut?
NR:
Not Jordan. Could it have been Lotus?
Good guess - correct.

Q: Your best showing in the prestigious F3 Masters event was a sixth place in 2004. Which current F1 drivers finished immediately behind you in that race in seventh and eighth places?
NR:
Hamilton finished seventh. One more? Was Kubica eighth?
Half marks - Lewis Hamilton seventh, Nelson Piquet was eighth.

Q: Can you name two eminent Formula One engineers who have worked under Patrick Head before going on to make a name for themselves?
NR:
Adrian Newey and Ross Brawn.
Correct - Neil Oatley, Frank Dernie and Egbahl Hamidy were three others.

Q: Before deciding on a career in motorsport, you were set to study aeronautics at university. You now spend an awful lot of time on planes. Can you tell us the typical cruising speed and altitude for a long-haul commercial jet?
NR:
Speed: 900km/h, Altitude: 35,000 feet. Correct? Yes? So I absolutely got it spot on? Wow!
Correct - ‘wow’ indeed.

Q: Frank Williams’ first job after leaving school involved selling what?
NR:
Selling car parts? No… I read his biography but I didn’t read that.
Incorrect - he was a trainee sales representative for the Campbell’s soup company.

Q: Williams’ base is located near the Oxfordshire town of Wantage. What stands in the centre of the town’s market square?
NR:
A statue. I have no idea who it is.
Half marks - it’s a statue of King Alfred the Great, who was born in Wantage in 849.

Q: You list backgammon among your interests. Can you tell us what a doubling cube is and what numbers would be found on it?
NR:
2,4,8,16,32,64. I am supposed to be the best player in the paddock.
Correct - a six-sided die marked with the aforementioned numbers.

Q: Returning to F3, at the 2004 Macau Grand Prix, you and Lewis Hamilton both crashed out on lap two while battling for the lead. Which current F1 driver went on to score a podium in that race?
NR:
Kubica!
Correct - he finished second.

Final score: 18.5 points from a possible 28
Ask the Expert rating: 66%

Current leader board:
1. Robert Kubica - 70%
2. Jenson Button - 69%
3. Nico Rosberg - 66%
4= Sebastian Vettel- 64%
4= Rubens Barrichello - 64%
6. Nick Heidfeld - 57%

More drivers coming soon.