Q&A with Mercedes Nico Rosberg 06 Jul 2012
Mercedes are one of many teams for whom Silverstone is a home race, and all at Mercedes - Nico Rosberg included - believe they can do very well here. Rosberg may not claim to be a favourite for victory, but he knows his car can perform on all types of circuit, and though he may brush aside talk of the title, that might just change should he deliver a win on Sunday
Q: Nico, weve seen some crazy races and unexpected winners. Do you think that the season will go on like this or will the predictions come true that Silverstone will separate the wheat from the chaff?
NR: Yes, I think things will become clearer - very soon. Its hard to predict if it will happen this weekend - because the conditions will play a crucial role and could interfere with the separation of wheat and chaff - but for sure at the two races that follow - the German and Hungarian Grands Prix - we will have not only a clearer, but probably a clear picture.
Q: Coming on to a completely different subject, Ross Brawn said that he wants to sort out whether Michael Schumacher will still be available next season in the next couple of weeks. Would you care having Michael or Lewis Hamilton as a team mate?
NR: Ah, is Lewis an option? Who says that? Just because his contract with McLaren terminates at the end of the season doesnt mean he will automatically switch to Mercedes. Well, but to answer the question, I hope that Michael will stay on - I am very pleased having him as team mate. We all work very well together and he is racing on a very high level. Together we have pushed the team forward, so I would appreciate it if he would stay.
Q: Whats your stance on Lewis Hamilton as team mate?
NR: That is something that I am not thinking about at the moment.
Q: Not long ago, you - and Ross and Michael - said that you now understand the tyres. So what has become of that?
NR: Ah, probably in Valencia there was a bit of a glitch in that understanding! (laughs) But, indeed, the tyres are such a complex matter and, yes, I would say that the understanding is better - but then it takes so much time to implement that. It is a huge engineering challenge. Before the key points were something along the lines of 50 percent aerodynamics and 50 percent the rest. Now there is that big chunk of tyres. Before it was something like you modify the tyres for the car, and now you modify the car for the tyres! The operating window is very narrow. And, of course, you have to adapt your driving style a lot. So in effect tyres teach us where to head.
Q: Would you say that your car is more suited to wet conditions than others?
NR: No, I dont think so. It is always a question of what youre up to in the free practice sessions, right?
Q: But what about the tyres for the weekend?
NR: Yes, that can be an issue as the forecast sees rain all weekend long and we only have three wet sets for the whole weekend. Ive done some mileage in the morning and some in the afternoon and we didnt want to do more. Tyres will probably be a crucial thing on Sunday. Surprisingly it went very well this afternoon. Weve made some changes with the set-up and it had a huge effect.
Q: Can a driver make a bigger difference in such conditions?
NR: The driver always makes the difference. But, yes, probably under such difficult conditions some tricks will help, of course. It is how you manoeuvre through the very wet parts of the track that will make your lap - and how you do that, that is drivers stuff! (laughs)
Q: But whats your gut feeling for the weekend?
NR: The feeling is that we come to a race knowing that we can deliver, and that is great - especially here where our headquarters are so close and the guys in the factory for once have the chance to attend.
Q: The championship is still wide open. Where do you see yourself?
NR: Well, at the moment I am satisfied with the points that I have. But the emphasis is on at the moment! (laughs) But now its time to move on. But clearly the goal right now is to take it race by race - and, of course, try to win, try to be consistent and not think about the championship.
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