Nico Rosberg Q&A: Mercedes still too hard on tyres 10 Jun 2011
Once you have identified the cause of a problem, usually a solution is near. At least that is what Nico Rosberg hopes. The heavy rear tyre degradation his Mercedes has been causing in races has been the main issue behind his poor 2011 results so far. But the team have been working flat out to eliminate the MGP W02s shortcomings - and hopefully it will show this weekend. Rosberg dominated Fridays opening session in Montreal, but speaking afterwards the German remained very much aware that striking the right balance between practice and race pace is where the true challenge lies
Q: Nico, after the disappointment of Monaco, another difficult weekend with a very specific track: how determined are you to do better?
Nico Rosberg: Of course I came here with the determination that we can put the Monaco weekend quickly behind us. I think that in qualifying we will be quite far up on the grid and our focus must be to keep that performance level in the race. My guess is that this is another track where the degradation of the rear tyres will be massive -something that we suffered from in Monaco - so our aim is it to get a better set-up to cut down on this shortcoming.
Q: So it is not a problem of the tyres but of the car?
NR: No, it has nothing to do with the tyres. It is our car that destroys the tyres in the race. This has been a bit of a general issue for us so far this season. We are too hard on the tyres. When others do 60 laps on the hard tyres, I can do 15 or 18 and that is not a good ratio. I am sure we will do better here - even if the track is known for its tyre consumption - but how much better I would not dare to say. We have gathered valuable data today and I will discuss the set-up strategy for qualifying and race with my engineers.
Q: What can your engineers do differently to optimize the car from the qualifying to the race situation?
NR: Well, to find the best possible compromise. You have to make the car slower in qualifying to be able to go faster over a whole race distance.
Q: Some argue that being so far behind, Mercedes must do anything to close the gap - including releasing more financial resources to the team. Is Mercedes willing to follow this path?
NR: Of course. We want to do anything possible - and we have the full backing. In fact, we have all been working flat out for weeks, but unfortunately it has not shown so far. But I am convinced - and I know this also goes for the whole team - that we will raise our game in the next couple of races.
Q: Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal, still has the reputation of being something of a magician, from his times with Michael Schumacher at Ferrari to his 2009 triumph in both championships with his own team. How is he performing his magic on a daily basis?
NR: If you witness him you see a very, very, competent man in all aspects of the team. With him and the support of Mercedes I know that we will be successful.
Q: There were rumours lately that you have signed a long-term contract with Mercedes. Whats the truth of that rumour?
NR: I never speak about contractual issues in public. What I can say is that I feel very much at home here and as I just said I am convinced that we will be successful and I want to be part of bringing this team to the front and celebrate victories with them.
Q: Many would like to see a title battle between you and Sebastian Vettel - not only in Germany. At the moment there is still something missing at Mercedes, but will we see this one day, another historic battle between two F1 greats?
NR: Yes, I honestly believe that it will happen sooner rather than later. I am ready to pick up the gauntlet and give F1 fans some sizzling battles wheel to wheel.
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