Q&A with Mercedes Nico Rosberg 15 Oct 2011
Although his plan to thwart at least one of the drivers from the top three teams didnt work out for him in Korea on Saturday, Mercedes Nico Rosberg did manage to secure the best of the rest slot on the grid in seventh. Rosberg discusses his pace so far in Yeongam, battling team mate Michael Schumacher and his hopes for 2012
Q: Are you enjoying the Korean track this year? Has much changed?
Nico Rosberg: Everything is pretty much as it was last year, which I would say is good. The track itself is in good condition - even if the weather was not all too perfect and there was very little running in the dry. I have to say that I personally like it here very much - and not only because I had my best qualifying result here last season. Even if it didnt work out today and we didnt manage to annoy at least one of the drivers from the three top teams, I am pretty satisfied with how it went and maybe in the race there will be another opportunity!
Q: So what are your hopes for the race?
NR: One thing I can say for sure is that I hope it wont be such a catch-up race again like in Suzuka. It was a bit odd. My hope is that I can have a good start and gain at least one position on my first lap.
Q: How serious is the battle between you and your team mate Michael Schumacher?
NR: The battle with Michael is as serious as it can be between team mates, and this is how it should be. Today I was able to deliver a better grid position, but only one week ago, I was the unfortunate one. So if I take a look at the second half of my season so far, I can clearly see that there have been more ups and downs. I know that I have had a pretty good season, and this is what counts for me. What will be much more interesting is that we know that we will be able to fight for top rankings from next season. We have hired a lot more personnel for the upcoming season, which will also eliminate the excuse that we are the smallest of the top teams.
Q: Looking through the new members joining Mercedes there are a few technical wizards. Will it be enough to beat Adrian Newey?
NR: This is what we will have to prove next season. But everything looks like we could close the gap to the top teams. We are very confident that all our efforts will make a huge difference to what we were able to show this year.
Q: Looking back at the Japanese Grand Prix, have the team been able to find the reason for your hydraulic failure and have they been able to make sure that it will not happen again?
NR: This particular plugging part of the hydraulic had a manufacturing error that only happened in the specific week when the part was produced. So we pretty much know what happened and we are very certain that it should not happen again.
Q: Now that the drivers title has been claimed, what do you think is still up for grabs?
NR: It will still stay very exciting and we will still see the most breath-taking overtaking manoeuvres. Also from my side, as I have not been the luckiest, especially in Japan, I want to show the best performances that I can. From Sebastians point of view it might be easier, as he can really focus now on winning a race. For him, the challenge of trying to win each race will be more fun now. For all of us, it will still be very difficult to beat him, as he will be as quick as always.
Q: You still havent scored a podium this year - can it happen this weekend?
NR: There is also a win and a world championship title missing from my account. But even to take a podium finish will be quite difficult. We have to take it as it is. It has been an unsteady season for myself.
Q: We will be heading to India in a few weeks. Are you excited?
NR: I am very much looking forward to this experience. It will be very interesting to see the brand new race track, and it will also be good to see the enthusiasm of all the people and to figure out how much they will accept Formula One itself. I have personally never been there before, so I am very much looking forward to the trip already. It will also give me the possibility of taking some time to experience the country, and even maybe taking a look at the Taj Mahal or some other sights.
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