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Exclusive Nico Rosberg Q&A: We are more motivated than ever 21 Feb 2012

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, 21 February 2012 (L to R): Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 with team mate Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 at the unveiling of the new Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, 21 February 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, 21 February 2012 (L to R): Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 with Ross Brawn (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 Team Principal and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 at the unveiling of the Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, 21 February 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1. at the unveiling of the Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, 21 February 2012 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One Testing, Day 1, Barcelona, Spain, Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The launch of a new Mercedes car always attracts a lot of the attention and with the F1 W03 joining the fray slightly later than its rivals, the paddock has been especially curious this year. After the unveiling, we caught up with Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg to discuss his new charge. And although Rosberg believes it’s still too early to fully evaluate its worth, the German is certain the car has a lot of potential…

Q: Nico, the wraps came off Mercedes’s 2012 challenger on Tuesday but you had already met the car. Tell us something about your new machine…
Nico Rosberg:
Well, it is so far a very positive acquaintance. Everybody in the team is highly motivated and looking forward to what is to come, probably more so than in previous years. The feeling is good! As for the car you can see that the team has once again grown closer. Everything is much more compact and more perfectly in place. Nothing has been thrown onto the car at the last minute as it was missed off, so everything looks good and cool. Performance wise I can’t say anything yet and it will still probably be too early to say after this four-day test is complete.

Q: You look pretty content…
NR:
I am generally always optimistic. But probably these days even more so…

Q: This is the third year for Mercedes GP and it’s the third year for you with Mercedes. That must be a good omen for this season being ‘third time lucky’ for you both…
NR:
Well, it is definitely a good omen and it definitely can be this season. But let’s keep our feet on the ground and not push expectations too high. I don’t think that anyone right now, in any team, has the confidence to say that his car is a winner. For us, I would say that the fundamental thing is to progress. We haven’t in the past two years - and I know we will.

Q: Why are you so convinced? Has there been any breakthrough in aerodynamics or have you discovered a special something to help the car?
NR:
There’s been no breakthrough and no ‘philosopher’s stone’. It’s just been perfect working together in the factory. Once you’ve created a flawless working environment it is more likely to do the trick than any technical wizardry. That was probably possible in the 1950s and 60s but today it’s all down to teamwork.

Q: Was it risky not to test the new car at Jerez? The weather in Barcelona can be cooler and much more changeable…
NR:
It was a compromise between having more time to develop the car in the factory and having more time to sort out reliability issues on the track. I think it was the right decision.

Q: Michael Schumacher has been in the car on Tuesday - what feedback has he given?
NR:
I’m at the pit wall and listen to the conversations between him and the engineers, so I have a good idea of what is going on.

Q: So what is going on?
NR:
At the moment we are running the standard procedure for a first day, sorting out any major issues. And luckily there are none. Of course there are minor teething problems but that is normal. Show me someone who says they are bringing a car to a test without expecting any hiccups and I’ll show you an optimist!

Q: Have the team’s struggles surprised you? Mercedes have top management, top technical people, a top environment, good funding and top drivers but it hasn’t yet worked out for you as it should…
NR:
Of course I am surprised. But I accept the situation and make the best out of it.

Q: You and Schumacher both clocked fast times in Jerez with the 2011 car. How much did you wish you’d set those times with the 2012 car?
Q:
Of course there was that thought. But I am afraid the others wouldn’t be willing to let us race that way. Ah, it was such a kick to be so much faster than everybody else. But alas, it cannot be!

Q: You have been in the sport for quite some time…
NR:
Seven years! It’s unbelievable how quickly you become an ‘old hand’…

Q: What would you say your biggest asset is as a driver - your talent, your looks, your marketing value or your charisma?
NR:
It’s the speed I have in a race car. Not my talent. And speed in the car doesn’t come from one thing - it’s a combination of many things. But of course I also put effort into the marketing side of the sport because it is my job and probably it is one of my strengths. But let’s not talk about looks and charisma as they are purely in the eye of the beholder! (laughs)

Q: It may be difficult to gauge your goals for the season at the moment, but what would you like to achieve over the opening flyaway races?
NR:
Progress and then good results. We don’t want it to be like last year, when we started at a different place to where we expected to be. We were much further back and had many problems. We are convinced that we can pull it off this season!

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