Q: Nico, what plans do you have to turn things again in your favour? You are 17 points shy of Lewis Hamilton in the standings - that’s not any easy amount to claw back…
Nico Rosberg: Plans, what are plans? There are still 100 points to be taken - in that respect 17 points shy is not such a big drama. Anything is still possible - and my plan is to fully concentrate and ride full attack! In fact it’s a very simple plan - so no big strategy or psychological games.
Q: Are you searching for reasons why it has gone a bit rough for you lately?
NR: I am not really looking back. You cannot change the past, so I say ‘I am here and will attack!’ I am in fact looking forward to these last three races - and the paramount feeling is that I am enjoying the moment. You never can dream up how a fight for the title will develop so it is the moment that counts - and the situation that I am in.
Q: You say you’re not the kind of person to look back in regret - but isn’t there some kind of anger when you think of the Sochi race? That had you braked one or two metres earlier at the first corner you could have passed Lewis (Hamilton) and potentially had a different result?
NR: Of course I was furious after the race - but then there have also been positive vibes because at some points in the race I wasn’t even sure to make it into the points at all. So coming in second was good damage limitation for future chances. So in the end any negative thoughts I can put aside very fast. I don’t let it get to me.
Q: You are one of the last leading figures of the 2010 Mercedes team. Would it be extra frustrating to see someone take the title who came in much later and who has not done all the groundwork like you?
NR: I am very optimistic so I am not plagued by such thoughts. And I really don’t see too much correlation between me being with the team since 2010 and our momentary title fight.
Q: Lewis is an emotional character whereas you come across much more cool and calculating. Is this ‘coolness’ your advantage?
NR: I have no idea. And to be honest: I don’t want to philosophise about his strengths and weaknesses! We both have pros and cons.
Q: Is there that feeling that you are living the chance of your life and the fear that you might botch it?
NR: No, not at all. Because I know that Mercedes will be at the front in the next years. That is my belief so I do not see it as this one shot at the title. But of course I pressure myself a bit - of course - because I want to win - and the chance is there right now.
Q: At the beginning you were vehemently against the double points rule for the last race…
NR: Now I honestly do love the double points for the last race! (laughs) For the future I do believe that to skip that rule again would be better - but in the end I see the want to take the title fight to the wire for the fans. To keep the situation sizzling! Many other sports do have similar tools to keep the suspense on a high, so we will make our first experiences in Abu Dhabi. Let’s see how it goes this year and then discuss the future.
Q: On Saturday we will very likely not see Sebastian Vettel in qualifying as there is a chance he will start the race from the pit lane no matter what time he does in qualifying. He is the reigning champion and the fans have the right to also see him. What do you make out of that situation?
NR: It is a strange situation. It is a completely unexpected scenario for the regulations. There is no ruling for such a situation so I am sure that it will be addressed.