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Exclusive Rosberg Q&A: Mercedes can close the gap 01 Apr 2010

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Australian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 26 March 2010 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Australian Grand Prix, Race, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, 28 March 2010 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP runs the circuit.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 3, Malaysian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sepang, Malaysia, Thursday, 1 April 2010 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 1, Bahrain Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Saturday, 13 March 2010 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 2, Australian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, Friday, 26 March 2010

Racing alongside seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher isn’t a role all drivers would relish, but Mercedes GP’s Nico Rosberg has taken up the challenge with gusto. Not only is Rosberg currently 11 points ahead of Schumacher in the championship standings, but he’s enjoying having such an experienced team mate on his side…

Q: Before the season, there was a lot of speculation about how your move to Mercedes GP would work out. How are you finding it?
Nico Rosberg:
I am feeling very much at home here. It is a very nice feeling. Performance wise I think I am doing quite well, and I am confident that I can continue to do well for the rest of the season.

Q: How is it different from driving for Williams?
NR:
You have to be more careful with what you say. So I have to think ahead. But in the end it’s not too bad, as I am always straightforward anyway.

Q: Your team mate Michael Schumacher and Ross Brawn have worked together for a long time. Have you found a niche in the team?
NR:
Yes I have found my niche, but this is an ongoing process. Technically I have been working really well with the team. Michael and I are pushing in the same direction. The team also has the competence to develop very quickly.

Q: Brawn keeps saying that the car is ‘not quite there yet’. What is your view on this situation?
NR:
He is right. We are not where we would like to be. We want to win races, and there are at least two teams that are quicker than us. This is why we need to push hard on the development side and try to close the gap. I am very confident that we will. I was in our factory two weeks ago, and the parts that are coming are very impressive.

Q: What is the main area in which the car needs to improve?
NR:
The main area where you can generally improve is in the aerodynamics, but the mechanical aspects will also make a step forward.

Q: You have finished twice in P5. Do you feel lucky or do you think you could have done better?
NR:
At both races I had the feeling that I could have done even better, but at the same time I thought to myself that I had scored good points and it was a very good start to build on. I have some solid points now, and I can start attacking.

Q: The Melbourne race has always been hard to predict. How did you manage to avoid being hit?
NR:
In general, my approach was to be very cautious, to finish and to score solid points. So I would say that this approach was the right way to go. I also have to say that I might have been more fortunate in various situations than maybe some others.

Q: So far you have performed better than your team mate…
NR:
Well, Michael says himself that he is still a bit rusty. But in general I am very pleased with my own job so far. I also know that it will get more and more challenging with him in the future. He is a great team mate. I hope that I can be at the same level as him over the rest of the season, and I think I can.

Q: You look like you’re having a great time, have you rediscovered your passion for driving?
NR:
I have to say that I had a great time at Williams, but I also had the feeling that it was about time for a change. And to come to the track with the hope of winning, being able to attack and being right up there is just great. I am enjoying it very much.

Q: The Malaysian track has never been that kind to you in terms of results. What are your expectations this weekend?
NR:
Generally this track has always suited me. I had my best qualifying result on this track, which was P3 on the grid at the second race of my rookie year. Last year, I was leading the race right after the start in my Williams, so I have had great moments here. Of course, in terms of absolute results, this race has not been one of my best. I am very confident about this weekend, as this is really one of my favourite tracks.