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Nico Rosberg Q&A: First Spa-Francorchamps pole special 23 Aug 2014

Pole sitter Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 23 August 2014 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 23 August 2014 (L to R): Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 (2nd) and Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 (pole position) in the post qualifying Press Conference.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 23 August 2014 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 23 August 2014 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 celebrates his pole position in parc ferme.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 23 August 2014

Nico Rosberg is getting used to pole positions - he has now scored seven this season. But that doesn’t mean his latest - at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Saturday - wasn’t special. And with Mercedes dominating the field, it has set up the prospect of another epic showdown with team mate Lewis Hamilton in Sunday’s Belgian race…

Q: Nico, we are straight into the second half of the season - with very difficult conditions here at Spa. How fierce will the team mate battle be this weekend?
Nico Rosberg:
Well, I think that we have the fastest car again as we demonstrated today - even though we were not as fast on the straight as at some other tracks. It is interesting to observe how the car changes from one track to the other. Red Bull Racing is fast on the straights in race trim - and they did very well in qualifying today - so we will have to analyse our situation this evening. But overall, yes, it is looking pretty promising for us. But Budapest has taught us that the race is on Sunday - and not on Saturday afternoon.

Q: It’s your forth pole position in a row. How much better can it get?
NR:
Yes, isn’t it fantastic. Now the race wins should also roll in in the same manner! But to tell the truth it was a challenging afternoon. The track was pretty tricky - even if we were able to run completely on intermediates. It is my first Spa pole, so that is something very special.

Q: When looking at the times Mercedes are a world away from the rest - two seconds clear of Red Bull - so it’s clear it will be your team mate rather than other teams challenging you here. How tight will the team mate battle be here? Another wheel-to-wheel fight?
NR:
Yes, when looking at the times I was surprised how big our gap to the others is. And yes, it will be very tight again with Lewis, believe me. But this is a track were you always have the chance to do something with the tyres during the race when you’re on a smart strategy, so it would be wrong to only focus on the qualifying result. Here you always have to put some race considerations into your qualifying set-up on Saturday.

Q: Eau Rouge is one of the legendary fast corners of the calendar - a real racer’s corner. How much fun is that corner in these new cars?
NR:
It is still a challenge. That will never change with Eau Rouge. If you have a full tank and the tyre degradation starts on the back tyres you start to slip - and then you come to a point where it’s no more full throttle - and that makes it really interesting. You have to be so precise. That is really awesome.

Q: Is it still the best track?
NR:
It is one of the best tracks. It is probably more difficult this year as you have a lower downforce level and that makes the cars slip more - and the more it slips, the more difficult it gets. And this afternoon was the best example. To keep the car on the track needed a lot of precision. But we know that Spa is always tricky with the weather, so you come here prepared for unpredictable conditions.

Q: How are you going about the race tomorrow?
NR:
The aim is to have a good start, a clean race and a clear win. Let’s see if it works out this way. No objections from my side to this plan! (laughs)

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