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Q&A with Mercedes' Nico Rosberg 25 Aug 2011

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 25 August 2011 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 31 July 2011 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 25 August 2011 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W02 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Race, Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, 31 July 2011 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Thursday, 25 August 2011

It should have been Nico Rosberg’s year. Unfortunately he is still chasing his first victory, with no chance of the title. But Rosberg has stamina and as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait, so the young German should be in pole position for huge rewards in the future…

Q: You are team mate with a living legend. Michael Schumacher is celebrating his 20th anniversary in Formula One this weekend here in Belgium. How does it feel to be in the same team with such a legend?
Nico Rosberg:
It is great, and it is a very interesting experience for me. There is a reason why he is the most successful driver of all time. It is great to be in the same team with him, and I think we also have a great partnership where we can push the team forward as well. Also, I have to say that my memory of Michael starts only at his first championship-winning year, which was 1994. Before that I was not really interested in Formula One, as I was too young. This very race that he debuted in, I was only six years old and probably didn’t even know what Formula One was.

Q: At the moment there are five Germans on the grid in Formula One. Do you think Michael Schumacher has contributed anything to this fact?
NR:
His success has made Formula One very popular in Germany, and therefore more companies have shown there interest, and more sponsorship budgets were allocated for motorsports, and therefore more support to build up the great talents in Germany.

Q: The big summer break has just ended. What have you been doing during that time off?
NR:
Most of this time I spent in Ibiza and doing a lot of sports and physical training, mostly on the bike, which I enjoy. Of course I also have partied a little bit and spent some time with friends.

Q: When you come to Spa, which emotions run through your head here?
NR:
It is a very special place to come to and one of the most special tracks that we have in our calendar. This racetrack was specially made for Formula One. The track itself has been modified for the better, as the run-off areas have been extended and the safety therefore increased. This track is different to most of the other ones, as the top speed is higher, the downforce needs to be less and there are longer straights - and that might mean a good chance that we can do better here.

Q: What is your forecast for the rest of this season, or have you already switched your focus to next season in terms of the development of the car?
NR:
We are still pushing for this season and are constantly coming up with new updates, so I am very positive that we can still take a few steps forward this year. Of course there will be a point where we will decide to put the available resources into the development of next year’s car.

Q: The job vacancy list on Mercedes GP’s website is not getting any shorter, which might imply that the structure of the team will be very different for next year. What change in competitiveness do you expect for next season compared to this?
NR:
It is not so easy to say, as the top teams have already proven that they are able to construct a really good and race-winning car. At the moment we are quite far away from being able to do the same, and it will not be possible to change this from one season to the other. This is a process which we have to go through. For next year I can already see that there is a lot more effort in the manpower, and also Mercedes has strengthened its ties with the team to be able to give even more input. We are very optimistic, also from just looking at the history of Mercedes in Formula One, as they have always been able to win races in the past, so we are more than positive that we will get there sometime soon in the future.

Q: You are known to be one of the best qualifiers in the field. Can you explain what you are doing differently, or what your strength is in comparison to other competitors?
NR:
In qualifying it is important to get this one lap right and to somehow also take you car over its limits. You have to be fully concentrated for this one lap and squeeze everything out of yourself and the material. This has always been my thing, but there is no particular way in which I train for this. If you translate this into the race, it is not 100 percent possible to keep up this high level that you need for this one qualifying lap. Also this year it is not really possible at all, as you have to try and save tyres from lap one.

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