Nico Rosberg Q&A - following in Fangios footsteps 21 Jul 2011
As their home race, the Nurburgring has a special aura for Mercedes and Nico Rosberg. And while it may not turn out to be the weekend when they win their first Grand Prix together, its already been a special one after Rosberg got behind the wheel of Juan Manuel Fangios 1954 W196 on Thursday
Q: How is the teams overall performance from a drivers point of view?
Nico Rosberg: For us it is very important to progress and to move in the right direction. We need to close the gap to the leading team and to learn as much as possible for next year. At the moment we are not yet the best team and therefore we cannot put the best car on the grid yet.
Q: What are your expectations being a German driver at your home race?
NR: It is great being a German driver to sit in the silver arrow. For me it is important to achieve the best possible result. We brought some updates to Silverstone, and also here we have a few bits and pieces to consolidate the updates. Looking at the weather conditions, whether it is dry or wet doesnt make a big difference for us. Only today in the morning I was driving Fangios silver arrow from 1954, with which he won on the Nordschleife, and that also was a great experience.
Q: There are six German drivers on the grid. How do you explain the fact that there are so many of your countrymen good enough for F1?
NR: I am quite sure that this is not a question of nationality. I would instead say that there are more young people trying car racing - and getting the right financial support to move up through the different series - than probably elsewhere. Germany has not only a financially solid background, but also the car industry is fairly strong - and therefore supportive to these young talents. And not to forget Michael Schumachers influence on this sport, which was massive on the youngsters, as ever since then they wanted to become like him. So all these factors together maybe helped to have that amount of German drivers on the grid.
Q: After Silverstone, discussion about team orders has come up again, and obviously it is legal this year. What is your opinion, being a driver and being in a situation where this could also happen to you?
NR: At the end of the day we - the drivers - are an employee of the team, and the team has the priority. That is the way it is in racing and in most other team sports as well. We get paid by the team to represent them, to compete for them on the track and to do well for them. Of course, looking from a racers point of view, you just want to race and win. You have to find out for yourself, and find the right compromise for these situations.
Q: What are your best memories of being here at the Nurburgring?
NR: It was when I was 16 years old and I won the Formula BMW race here, which was one of the F1 support races, and Bernie (Ecclestone) and Gerhard Berger came to congratulate me. The Nurburgring is an institution in German motor racing, with the famous Nordschleife. It is amazing the kind of races that have taken place here, and what tragic situations occurred during them. I really hope that it remains in the calendar, as it is really an amazing track.
Q: Some drivers have a yacht, others have a Playstation, or anything in between. How do you spend your free time?
NR: Believe it or not, I have a kitchen garden where I get my vegetables from for cooking. My girlfriend is an amazing chef and this is also a hobby for me to cook and eat good food.
Q: You mentioned your lap in Juan Manuel Fangios car. How was that, especially considering the value of such an historic machine?
NR: I was very careful on that lap. It was an amazing, but at the same time weird feeling. Amazing in the respect that you have to think that it was 1954 when they were able to construct such an amazing race car. Weird in the respect of how these guys were sitting in there - the steering wheel is huge and very close to your chest, but then again very easy to turn. Then you have the huge gearbox in between your legs, no safety belts, and your whole upper body is basically outside the car.
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