Exclusive Nico Rosberg Q&A: We will win soon with this car 28 May 2010
Last years Turkish Grand Prix went well for Mercedes GPs Nico Rosberg. With a far-from-front running Williams he managed to bring home four points. It suggests the Istanbul Park Circuit suits Rosberg quite well, despite the dreaded Turn Eight. With his car equipped with a new F-duct, the young German clocked some good laps in both Friday practice sessions, even though hes not sure whether more will be possible in Saturdays qualifying
Q: Nico, at the start of the season your team principal Ross Brawn identified your lack of experience of winning in F1 as a sort of handicap that has to be overcome. After six races you still havent won
Nico Rosberg: Well, I understand why he said that in the first place because the first win is always a sort of breakthrough. But on the other hand I dont think that it makes such a big difference. Its just a step in a career. And to be fair, our car is not a winning car at the moment. At the last race in Monaco I think we were the closest weve been to having a winning car, but the Red Bulls again were faster. My gut feeling is that we will be there very soon. We are working in the right direction and it is just a matter of time.
Q: You are 22 points behind the Red Bull duo, while your team mate Michael Schumacher is 56 points adrift. Are you very aware of that?
NR: Of course I am aware of that and believe me its a nice position to be in - that Ive handled my team mate for now - but thats not the priority. We want to be in front with the car and not having a team-mate race. We are racing as a team on an equal level and we are in that mode for the whole year. Probably it has consequences for me as I feel that my position in the team has grown and that is important for me. Obviously starting the season alongside Michael Schumacher, and still having a strong standing in the team, is great to see.
Q: It seems like the German media in particular are interested in everything you and Michael say. After your somewhat carefree time at Williams, is it difficult to handle?
NR: Well, it was very clear from the beginning that the media would sneak around and give weight to every word. They were very excited when Michael was angry in Monaco in qualifying, but at the moment there are no problems whatsoever and I dont think one will come. Sure, I have to watch what I say much more carefully than when I was racing with Williams. It is quite a change, but I have learned that lesson to a certain degree since being in Formula One. This year its just a bit more. You have to be careful, for sure. But I also understand the media. Its their job to get the best possible story.
Q: Watching from the sidelines it seems youve grown in self confidence. Have you had to, given your team mate?
NR: No, not really. I came into the team when the idea of Michael joining hadnt been considered. I was prepared to race with Jenson Button - the reigning world champion - and when it became clear that Michael would come out of retirement I felt very fortunate to have him as a team mate. It is such an interesting experience, but at the same time you start to have some doubts, because youve heard so many bad things abut this person that, for a moment, you start to think whoa! But it turned out that it is not true what everybody says, and the situation is a good one for me.
Q: How does it work between Ross Brawn, Michael and yourself?
NR: I am very involved with the car in general so we often communicate with Michael at the meetings, debriefs and all that, and Ross as well. He is a very typical, honest English person to whom it is important to have things in balance. Yes, he has a good relationship with Michael and likes him a lot, but I think I have built a relationship with him too over the last couple of months, so I would say that we three work very well together.
Q: Its been said that the car is being developed according to Michaels tastes. Is that true, even though Ross has said you cant build a car around somebody
NR: It is not true. Ross is absolutely right about that. It is not possible to build a car around Michael - and if it was true, it would benefit me as well. But a rumour in the media is very difficult to stop.
Q: Youve been on the podium twice, and ran well here last year. What are you expecting this weekend?
NR: Yes, last year was really good for me. I was fourth before losing that position to Trulli in the pits. We have brought some new developments, notably the new F-duct. But everybody has that now, not only us, so it is difficult to say on Friday what will happen on Sunday afternoon. For today the feeling was quite positive, and with more mileage in Practice Three we should be able to wrap-up a good lap in qualifying and have a good race.