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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Mercedes' motivation 'mountain high' 21 Nov 2013

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 21 November 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 25 May 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 21 November 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Monaco Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, Saturday, 25 May 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19, Brazilian Grand Prix, Preparations, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, 21 November 2013

After victories in Monaco and Great Britain earlier in the year, Nico Rosberg is about to complete the most successful season of his Formula One career. This weekend his primary mission is to help Mercedes secure second place in the constructors’ championship. But with the Silver Arrows’ form very much in the ascendancy in 2013, Rosberg is already thinking of bigger things in 2014…

Q: Nico, it’s the last race of the season, but there is still a bit at stake for Mercedes, so how are you going into the weekend? Relaxed that it is over, or still in a do-or-die mood?
Nico Rosberg:
Full throttle, of course! I love the Sao Paolo weekend. It is always a fascinating race. And, of course, I want to put Austin behind me as fast as possible - and what better way than with a good race to finish the season on a high.

Q: But the season has already been on a high level for you: you’ve won Monaco and Silverstone - two iconic races - and Mercedes as a team are one of the winners of the year…
NR:
Yes, it’s been a good season for us, as we’ve been through some quite difficult times in the past and now you feel a significant upward trend. Right now we are the second-best team behind Red Bull Racing, who are still in a league of their own, and that feels so liberating given the fact that we ended last season in P5 in the constructors’. So, yes, with the performance level that we have now it makes me very confident for the future.

Q: But this second position in the constructors’ championship still has to be defended this weekend. How are you going about this challenge?
NR:
Yes, we still have to defend our position against Ferrari - and never underestimate Lotus - so it will be an interesting race on Sunday. I think we are in a slightly better situation, as our car is better, but we have also seen that this race is completely unpredictable - starting with the conditions. One thing is for sure: our motivation - that of the whole team - is mountain high.

Q: That sounds as if you are a bit sad that next year everything will be different again - now that you’re seemingly on a good run…
NR:
No, no. False impression. I am very much looking forward to the rule changes, as this might be our big chance. Everybody starts from zero again and Mercedes has gathered such a fantastic group of people that there must be something seriously amiss if we don’t do well next year and aren’t able to fight Red Bull, who very likely will also be the team to beat in 2014.

Q: For years Formula One racing has been in ‘the German moment’, with four consecutive Vettel titles. Given that Mercedes is getting stronger and stronger, could we see another ‘German moment’, this time with you?
NR:
Who knows? Things look good right now and the rule changes give hope that we will be able to close the gap to Red Bull. On top of that I am someone who is very interested in technical matters, so maybe having a driver who is genuinely interested in understanding these changes can also make a bit of a difference.

Q: Your first fight is with your team mate. How do you see that?
NR:
It’s been a tough fight this year as Lewis (Hamilton) is one of the best drivers on the grid. But it’s also been a good battle with nobody really having - and keeping - the upper hand on the other. My guess is that it will go on like this next season - hopefully on an even higher team level.

Q: The end of the season is also always a time to reflect. What have been your best and worst moments in Formula One racing so far?
NR:
The worst I will always remember. It was in my first year with Williams. I crashed the car here in Interlagos - and took my team mate out. How worse can it go? (laughs) My best was winning Monaco this year. De facto it’s my home race and to take the trophy and walk home, that was a very special moment. My dad used to tell me that in a driver’s life only two things matter: winning the championship and winning Monaco. Well for Monaco I was able to tick the box. Hopefully the rest will come - and 2014 should be a good chance to have a shot at the title.

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