Exclusive Nico Rosberg Q&A: Seventh place would be great 29 Aug 2009
Williams Nico Rosberg was disappointed with his cars performance throughout Friday, but Saturdays qualifying boosted his mood. Starting tenth on the grid, and with a surprising gaggle of drivers ahead of him, Rosberg admits a top-six finish at Spa on Sunday will be tough
Q: Nico, on Friday you were quite frustrated about your practice results. How is your mood today?
Nico Rosberg: Its true, yesterday was a disaster. The car was very, very slow. But the team has worked over night and we progressed a little bit - not to my full satisfaction, but after all I made it into Q3. That was the best we could do and P10, with a lot of fuel, gives me a good chance to get some points tomorrow.
Q: How frustrating is it to be so close to the podium but never close enough? Over the last seven races, youve always finished better than your qualifying position but havent finished in the top three
NR: Yeah, weve always been close to the podium but whats missing is a big step like McLaren had. They got ahead of us with both cars and thats whats made a podium even more difficult. But yes, I was in touching distance of the podium quite often. But thats not all that counts. I hold P5 in the championship and thats a good position to hold. Effectively thats the best I could have done this year. With this car you cannot beat the Brawns and the Red Bulls, so I have to be pretty pleased with that.
Q: You said that you are fifth in the drivers championship, but the team is sixth in the constructors championship, with points only from you. Would you prefer to have a team mate who is challenging you a bit more?
NR: In terms of lap times he is very often not too far away - two or three tenths sometimes - and very often I have been able to profit from his driving, and it has sometimes even improved mine. But Kazuki (Nakajima) has been very unfortunate and also sometimes hasnt got it together the whole weekend, so the races are even more difficult. Sure its not a good thing to score zero points with the car that we have, as it makes it very hard for the team in the constructors championship. If he had decent points we could be third in the constructors now.
Q: Your fifth place in the drivers championship, ahead of Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso, shows that Williams has developed a pretty good car and has a reliable engine. The engine may well change in 2010. How much is that affecting your choice of where to drive next season?
NR: That is something that I have to consider, obviously. According to (Toyota team president) John Howetts comments there might be a change, so it is important for me to know exactly which engine will be in the car to make a decision.
Q: Mercedes have been open about stating youd be a dream candidate for them, but it seems that not all at McLaren-Mercedes would be happy about your arrival. How do you cope with this situation?
NR: From my point of view McLaren is an interesting team for me. I just have to look at all my options and then make my decision for next year. I am happy with my situation, I have some very good possibilities - and thats all that matters.
Q: But isnt it a fact that at the moment there are more good drivers on the market than there are good seats?
NR: I dont see it that way.
Q: The best introduction for a driver to a new team is a good season. You are fifth now, but will you be able to hold that position with Hamilton, Alonso and Raikkonen catching up rapidly?
NR: We are very consistent on all the tracks and I think that we can keep it there. Here it is difficult, and Monza is very likely to be difficult again, even though my guess is that we will be better there. My hopes of course are that I can defend my position.
Q: What have Williams up their sleeves for the last six races?
NR: We will see some upgrades depending on the necessities of the track. I am very confident that eventually we will go back to our old selves and finish in the top five. I am confident we can finish the season well.
Q: When will you make your decision where to go next year? Brawn GPs Rubens Barrichello said recently that he wants to have his seat for 2010 secured within the next four weeks. Are you aiming at something similar?
NR: Yeah, me too. Id like to fix it very soon. But at the moment I cannot tell you anything interesting.
Q: Spa is a drivers track: fast and furious. Your best position was sixth two years ago. Will you finish higher on Sunday?
NR: That will be difficult because my car was better then than it is now on this track. Seventh place would be great tomorrow.