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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Fast corners still an issue for Mercedes 04 May 2012

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, Bahrain Grand Prix, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday, 22 April 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One Testing, Mugello, Italy, Day One, 1 May 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One Testing, Mugello, Italy, Day Three, 3 May 2012 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One Testing, Mugello, Italy, Day One, 1 May 2012

Not everyone was convinced of the value of this week’s Mugello test, the first in-season session since 2008, especially given that the venue was a very specialised circuit not frequently used by the F1 fraternity. Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg wasn’t among its critics, however, and came away convinced that the team’s three days in Italy have boosted their prospects for the rest of the season - even if there is still work to do…

Q: Nico, the Mugello test is over and teams are wrapping up to head for Barcelona. How was the final day - after the slow start due to poor conditions?
Nico Rosberg:
It was indeed a good day and we were able to cover a lot of the programme that we set ourselves. What was really important was that we now understand why Shanghai was going so well and Bahrain a lot less well. And, of course, we have also been focusing on the next race, the Spanish Grand Prix.

Q: So please enlighten us - why was Shanghai (your first F1 race win) so good while Bahrain was probably a real disappointment?
I think it is the key to a good season this year to understand exactly why you have problems with the tyres at one circuit and then do extremely well on another. And I can say that we’ve learned a lot that will help us at the coming races.

Q: Is the secret good management of the degradation of the tyres?
Well, I think that we’ve found some parameters that influence that and that is pretty interesting, to say the least. I have to say it was amazing to see that with a better understanding it can carry you a long way.

Q: So what exactly is the conclusion of this test?
In general I have to say that this track is not exactly to our liking because it consists of almost only fast corners - and that is where we are not that strong at the moment. It’s an area where we definitely have to put some thought in to understand why it is that way, as it was definitely the most crucial reason we lost positions in Bahrain. Leaving that aside, I can say that we’ve been able to cover a lot of mileage and we have learned a lot, especially on the set-up side. That’s all I can say.

Q: What about the new carbon gearbox? Is it what you had hoped it would be?
There I cannot say anything.

Q: The teams were asking for in-season testing. Now some say that it is a waste of time and money, especially on a track like Mugello where nobody has the parameters to know how good or bad they really are...
I am not into the budget reasoning. I only can answer from a driver’s point of view and I have to say that it made a lot of sense for me to do this test, as I can see that it helps the whole team and me.

Q: When listening to your competitors, they all agree that they will have to reckon with Mercedes in Barcelona…
You always have to reckon with Mercedes - not only in Barcelona! The silver arrow is a hot challenger… (laughs)

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