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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Lewis did a better job than me

23 Nov 2014

Nico Rosberg had to swallow the bitter pill of title defeat in Abu Dhabi as he suffered car problems while trailing Lewis Hamilton - but even in the face of cruel luck and crushing disappointment the German demonstrated his class, congratulating Hamilton and celebrating with his Mercedes team in the aftermath.

The German admits the full magnitude of ceding the title might take time to sink in, but in magnanimous style says Hamilton fully deserved to win the drivers' crown after having a slight edge in 2014 - a dynamic Rosberg is determined to change...

Q: Nico, how disappointed are you? Fighting all season and then having to let the title go?

Nico Rosberg: Of course right now disappointment is the dominant emotion. I have to digest this whole situation. I think that is understandable. Right now it doesn't really feel much different than Austin where I also lost the race - but probably the whole dimension of this race will set in later.

Q: The start was a bit of a disaster…

NR: …and the whole weekend all the practicing we did - of course you can only do it at the pit lane exit - was not good. I don't know why this was so - but you don't pay so much attention to it as you attribute it to the unusual situation. Now we will have to look into it to see what the problem was.

Q: The start was one thing - but then facing serious issues in the race and knowing that you have to bag serious points. How were your emotions then?

NR: In such a situation you don't give up. The hope was still there, as I only had to finish sixth should Lewis retire. So you still hope and pray and try to carry the car as gently around the track as possible - and at the same time as fast as the car allows you to. And then slowly with every lap that passed hope was vanishing - that was a pretty tough situation.

Q: When did the car troubles start? How did it feel?

NR: Suddenly the speeds were completely different because ERS was playing up. And when that happens it starts to interfere with a lot of other systems - and at one point there were problems everywhere.

Q: Sitting in a car and knowing that under normal circumstances you could go three seconds a lap faster - was there a moment when you thought of giving in?

NR: Giving in - never. But I had to adjust to the situation of my car. For example I had to hit the gas already before the corner because I had some sort of turbo lag.

Q: If the car had worked, do you think you would have had a chance against Lewis today?

NR: I would have loved to fight until the chequered flag. That is for sure. That I was not able to do that is probably the biggest disappointment. I wanted to put the pressure on him until the very last corner.

Q: Did you congratulate Lewis?

NR: Yes, I said 'you deserved it'. It was a hearty situation. He did a little bit a better job than me in the races. Tiny bits that I need to find! He was the best driver on the grid this year - and it was a great battle between us. And that is what I am racing for: for such battles. Of course there have been intense moments between us - but most of the time it was simply fantastic.

Q: Was it difficult to watch Lewis and the team celebrating?

NR: Yes, it was a bit hard to watch.

Q: When will you start to build motivation for the 2015 season? Niki Lauda said that the best thing is to get right back into the car to overcome possible self-doubts…

NR: I will be in the car on Tuesday. Even if right now I have to say that I am not really in the mood for it. But as it is optional, maybe that is a sign that I'm already motivated again deep down inside! But the main feeling is that it's been a long season and I want to exhale before I start to think about the 2015 season.