Nico Rosberg Q&A: Were targeting third in pecking order 06 May 2011
Mercedes may not have enjoyed the smoothest of starts to the 2011 season, but the performance of the teams MGP-W02 seems to be on the up. And after finishing second on the Friday timesheets, driver Nico Rosberg certainly seems satisfied with progress
Q: Nico, it was a pretty good day for you
Nico Rosberg: Yes, it was a very positive start today. We have squeezed in a lot during our afternoon programme. We have tried many things and with some discovered that they didnt work as well as we had hoped, which has made us go back to the initial set-up again. I must say weve learnt a lot in one and a half hours this afternoon. Probably I was a bit too cautious as the front wheels did not degrade as much as I had thought they would. I could have completed many more laps. This finding will probably be a crucial factor in the race. Our engineers will assess the tyres to see how many more laps would have been possible.
Q: Your team mate Michael Schumacher predicted that Mercedes could be the third power on the grid after this weekend. Do you agree?
NR: That is our aim for this weekend - to leave Istanbul as number three in the pecking order. But I say this with caution. It will be a long and difficult race.
Q: So would you say that the team is improving?
NR: Absolutely. The slightly irritating thing is that we have not added significant upgrades to the car. It is probably that we understand the car better and are able to squeeze the maximum out of it. But lets stay realistic. It is only Friday.
Q: Did everything, including KERS and the moveable rear wing, work correctly?
Q: Wouldnt it be wise to save tyres on Saturday? At 58 laps, its a long race
NR: I guess it would, but I dont know if we will be that brave. It is probably too early in the season to do that.
Q: How important was it to run the wet tyres today?
NR: I ran with them before so it was not such a completely new thing for me. But still it was interesting to observe how much grip they have and how little they degraded. Should it rain on Sunday and somebody has problems, it wont be a tyre issue.
Q: Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel missed out on a lot of running. How much of a disadvantage would it be?
NR: Of course it is a disadvantage because the morning session was the perfect situation to try out the wets.
Q: How do you expect the race to unfold on Sunday? Has todays running helped you to understand what would be the best strategy?
NR: Sure, thats why we have practice sessions. Our strategists will feed all the data into the computer and then we will sit down do discuss the strategy for the race. The conditions for Sundays race remain a mystery. Rain is forecast but things are changing very rapidly here.
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