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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Race will be a red-hot battle 27 Jul 2013

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Hungaroring, Hungary. Saturday, 27 July 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 makes a pit stop.
Formula One World Championship, Rd10, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice, Hungaroring, Hungary. Friday, 26 July 2013

Nico Rosberg looked to be in the running for pole position when qualifying got underway on Saturday, but by the end of the session he could only manage fourth on the grid. But though he starts places behind team mate Lewis Hamilton, Rosberg told reporters that he is still confident for the race tomorrow, despite the expected sweltering conditions…

Q: You'll start P4 - how much of a disappointment is that when you consider the fantastic qualifying pace Mercedes has?
Nico Rosberg:
It’s a bit disappointing, that’s true, as it was looking so promising all afternoon. But let’s turn it into something positive: it is a good basis to start the race tomorrow. Realistically I have to say that pole position was not within reach today as we had some minor issues in the car in qualifying. But that will not distract from looking forward to a good race.

Q: What was it that was not running ideally?
NR:
The brake balance system was locking - I couldn’t move it as I normally do. That was a pity as it cost the time for a better grid position.

Q: We know that Hungary is a difficult track to overtake on. Where do you hope to better your position? Right at the start?
NR:
Hopefully yes, even though I start from the dirty side of the grid. But yes, a good start could do the trick. With the set-up, we were already focusing more on the race than on qualifying so let’s keep our fingers crossed that we were reading the signs correctly. Of course it will be a bit tricky to cope with the hot conditions. We definitely like it cooler.

Q: What precautions do you have to take for the car?
NR:
We have to open up (the cooling) as you need more air flow going through the car - through the side pods to cool the engine more, so we have massive holes now. But I think everybody was going that route one way or the other - not only us. But sure, cooling will be one of the major issues tomorrow.

Q: That was about the car - but what about the driver. How hard is it in the cockpit? Predictions are that it will be even hotter tomorrow…
NR:
It is pretty tough. Don’t forget today we’ve basically only done single laps - but tomorrow it will be roughly a one-and-a-half hour red-hot battle.

Q: You just mentioned that the Mercedes car likes it when conditions are cooler. Is there a fear that you will face a similar situation to that at the hot races at the beginning of the season?
NR:
Yes, there is that fear. In the past we’ve really struggled in ‘desert’ conditions. What gives hope is that in the long runs on Friday we’ve did much better than in the past.

Q: When looking at qualifying so far this season it was mainly either you or your team mate Lewis (Hamilton) on pole position. Today it is Lewis…
NR:
Yes, it is pretty tight between the two of us - and that is fantastic! We really do push each other - and that is shown in the performance of the team.

Q: What has to happen for you to finish on the podium?
NR:
If I knew that I wouldn’t tell! (laughs) As I just mentioned, we’ve seen an upward trend with high fuel on Friday - but it was not that hot on that day. When it was surprisingly warm at the last race at the Nurburgring our performance dropped in the race, so let’s see if the new tyres work more in our direction. I am very positive that we will at least see a better result than in Germany. But I am under no illusion that it will be a difficult race tomorrow. From what I hear it will be the hottest race in years!

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