Nico Rosberg Q&A: Mercedes still targeting 2010 wins 23 Jul 2010
Mercedes GPs Nico Rosberg has grown in self confidence since his Silverstone podium couple of weeks back. It is obvious in the way he walks, the way he talks and the way he interacts with the media. Everything seems to say I am well on the way to becoming a power in Formula One. Having started the season in the shadow of team mate Michael Schumacher, Rosberg has quickly emerged as a force in his own right. Hes clearly enjoying it, even if that first win has so far eluded him. But that is surely just a matter of time
Q: Nico, this weekends race will see six German drivers starting their home Grand Prix. How do you explain that boom?
Nico Rosberg: When Michael (Schumacher) started in the early nineties and started to win races and titles the big boom started and many young kids wanted just to be like him. This is one side. But the Michael Schumacher hysteria also made more companies get involved in racing so the financial situation was becoming much better for kids to look at this kind of career. And with more kids racing in various categories the likelihood to find real talents that will make it all the way into Formula One increased. I would say this is the main reason why we see so many Germans on the grid now. I would say that we are all sort of the product of the Schumacher success in the nineties.
Q: What are you expecting for your own race on Sunday given what you have experienced today? Is a podium finish within reach?
NR: We have brought several upgrades to this race so we should definitely perform better here. A podium finish is definitely our aim. Weve done it in Silverstone so we should also be able to do it here.
Q: The tyre situation seems to be more difficult here than at any other track so far. Will we see a lot different strategies or will everybody basically be doing the same thing?
NR: I think that we will see an exciting race and its hard to say from the experiences today what will happen on Sunday in the race. Obviously it should be a dry race, so lets wait and see with what everybody comes up with - especially if it is raining today and tomorrow in qualifying but not on Sunday.
Q: You recently said that you think the Mercedes is between the third and fourth best car on the grid. What do you think has to happen to make it move all the way to the top?
NR: Our main problem still is that the base of the car is not as good as we would have hoped, so with all changes if the base is not one hundred percent right it is difficult. What I see is that we are making the best out of the situation and we are really pushing hard so it should improve over the second part of the season. The main issues are still the same - they are mainly aerodynamic. There we need to progress and thats what we are doing with a further development on the F-duct here for example. That should be a definite step forward so lets wait and see how far its getting us up on the grid.
Q: Could you be a little more precise about the updates that have been introduced for this weekend, apart from the F-duct?
NR: Ah well, as I said the F-duct, and then general upgrades. For sure I know precisely what the upgrades are, but should I go into detail? Very likely not. Let yourself be surprised in qualifying.
Q: How on top of things are you with regards switching the tyres on for qualifying? Have you made progress in that area or is there still a bit work to do?
NR: There is definitely still work to do. It is a very difficult subject that you struggle to understand as a team. But I think that is not us alone - most other teams also find it difficult to understand that issue and find out exactly what the reasons are. We are doing everything to improve the situation and the good news is that it doesnt happen at all the tracks. It was grave in Montreal, less so in other places, and in Silverstone the problem wasnt really there.
Q: Coming back to the conditions, how difficult is it to run probably two days on wet tyres and then have to discover the slicks on Sunday?
NR: If that is the case - and it looks a bit that way - it will be very interesting because its not only the slicks but you also have a high fuel load when you approach the first corner. That would be a very new situation and the start will be very interesting, as you dont know the braking points but still have to defend your position. All that will not be easy, but it will be a great spectacle for the fans, that is for sure.
Q: It seems to be more difficult than expected for you to win a race, yet you say you are still in the race for the championship. What convinces you of that?
NR: What Ive said is that the basis of the car is not as good as we would have expected, so its difficult to make a race-winning car out of that situation. We have done good work since then - if weve done sensational work the next couple of races will show it. Silverstone was promising with P3, but we are definitely looking to win races this season. And there are still many points on the table so from a purely mathematical point everything is still wide open.