Nico Rosberg Q&A: Mercedes updates will improve pace 20 Sep 2012
Since his Chinese Grand Prix triumph back in April, Nico Rosberg has had a pretty low-key season. The championship may still be mathematically possible, but it would take a dramatic improvement in Mercedes form to make it a realistic prospect. Could the updates the team tested in Magny-Cours last week make that difference? No one knows for sure, but Rosberg is convinced we will witness at least some improvement in Singapore this weekend
Q: Nico, are you already in the Singapore mode?
Nico Rosberg: Absolutely. It is something very special being here. Last night I was in the fitness studio at 4am working on a bicycle trainer and went to sleep at 5am and got up today at 4pm to come straight to the paddock.
Q: How easy - or difficult - is it to switch daytimes completely?
NR: Not so difficult at all - you simply keep the biorhythm from Europe. What is indeed a bit strange is that your day is mostly dark - that when you wake up at 4pm you only have about three hours of daylight and that is it. But then think about a dark and rainy winters day in Europe - its almost the same.
Q: The Singapore Grand Prix is said to be a very tough race
NR: Singapore for me is the toughest race of the season. And when I say tough I really mean it: the heat paired with the track - that gets you. Here you have very short straights, so you never have the slightest chance to relax a bit before you head into the next corner again. This track has what, 23 corners? My feeling is its the most corners that we do over a race weekend - and that makes it so demanding physically. So what you really do need here is a top level of fitness - and I have it! (laughs)
Q: You have been on the podium here in the past, so you obviously like it here
NR: I do indeed, so I am setting out for another great result on Sunday. We have brought new parts for the car that I am convinced will make it faster.
Q: Can you tell us what new parts?
NR: Ah, here it gets interesting (laughs) New exhausts, for example. That should help with more contact pressure and hence support the aero side. I tried it on Monday in the simulator and that was really kind of strange, because you do your simulator work and then you get told that your engineers will put the new exhausts on the virtual car. They type some numbers into the computer and there you go - the new parts are on the car! And you really feel it - it is just like in reality how the car has changed. It is unbelievable what you can do these days. You can simulate more side wind, you can simulate tyre degradation - and you really do feel it.
Q: So how about simulating night conditions - as Singapore is the only night race on the calendar?
NR: In general you are in a room that is darker than the reality - to see the monitor better - so it fits the Singapore requirements even better.
Q: Coming back to the standings, it looks like you will not finish the season as world champion
NR: Who says that? Mathematically it is still possible
Q: But youd have to be a bit of a daydreamer
NR: But you also cannot rule it out right away.
Q: So lets look at the situation from another angle: if it wont be you, who will it be?
NR: I have not the slightest idea. I think it is great for Formula One that seven races to the end there is still no clear favourite and that as many as seven drivers still are in the running - including me. (laughs)
Q: There has been a lot of hype regarding the Mercedes driver line-up for next year, with speculation that Michael Schumacher will retire and Lewis Hamilton will join the team. Meanwhile there is new gossip that you will leave Mercedes and Michael and Lewis will team up. What do you make of all this?
NR: Of course I follow these rumours and believe me, I am pretty happy with my position driving a silver arrow and really hope to win more races in the future. To be honest, I have not heard that Schumacher/Hamilton story yet and in my view it would make no sense at all. As to whether Michael or Lewis will be my team mate in 2013, I have no more information than all the others in the paddock. What I can say is that it works very well with Michael and me - and I feel that we push the team in the right direction. So from my point of view it could go on this way.
Q: From what you said it appears that you definitely will stay with Mercedes in 2013
Q: Coming back to this race, what is realistically possible for you this weekend?
NR: As I said before, we have new parts on the car so the likelihood of us doing better seems to be pretty high. Top five would be good.
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