But the weeks since have been much better for the German driver - not only has he signed a new contract with the Silver Arrows, but he also got married to his long-term girlfriend, and as a result he arrives at his home Grand Prix both happy and determined to return to winning ways…
Q: Nico, less than a week ago you married your teenage sweetheart Vivian, and two days ago you walked away with a new multi-million Euro contract. With so much luck, who needs a title?
Nico Rosberg: More important than multi-millions is the fact that it is the best car on the grid and that it is the ‘silver arrow’, that I am with my dream team and I can win races.
Q: But there’s no doubt that you seem to be on a lucky streak - so who needs a title?
NR: Luck? Simply some nice events have happened recently. Why luck? Sure luck is always a part of it, but only luck will not do. It’s a nice time for me and I am looking forward to the future. And the near future is that my home race is here. It’s my second home race as I am fortunate enough to have two - Monaco and here - and I hope I can win also here. That would be great.
Q: What does the contract with Mercedes mean to you?
NR: Stability - that’s a nice one! Now I’ve ticked it off and can forget about it - I can enjoy it and am happy about it. I have the trust from all the people in charge in the team and I couldn’t think of a better place to be.
Q: But you don’t get such a contract without Mercedes expecting something from you. What is that? To be champion?
NR: I don’t know what they expect - but for sure it is that I drive well. That’s why they kept me on board. And I expect a good car - that is why I stayed. I think our aspiration is to dominate - both of us.
Q: You’ve always had stability in your private life and this is your fifth season with Mercedes. How important would you rate continuity generally as a success factor?
NR: To be honest: I don’t think about it too much in that way. It has come naturally in my life that there are things that have stayed for a while. I didn’t go through too many changes, and I like it that way. Continuity is probably a big factor in my life and I like to approach it from that side as I think many of these ‘stable’ things help my performance on the track.
Q: Success can change ones view on things and can changes the perception of your surroundings. How true is that for you now?
NR: The surroundings perception I respect - but I don’t put too much effort into that. That’s the way in life: when you’re winning more people say ‘hi’ to you. But I am the same person and I am doing the same thing as before.
Q: Has success ever carried you away?
NR: It influences me, yes. But it also makes me question where I want to be and who I want to be. So from that point of view, success on a race track will never change me to suddenly be a different person. My friends will confirm that.
Q: So who do you want to be?
NR: Right now Nico Rosberg!
Q: What comes with Nico Rosberg?
NR: Taking care of family and friends, for example. Dedication to my job, taking enjoyment out of life…
Q: Enjoying what? Reading? Going to the movies? Listening to music?
NR: I’m very sporty. Lots of sport.
Q: The last race must have been a bitter pill to swallow - watching from the sidelines as your points margin melted away in the British Summer…
NR: I didn’t see it that way - not with the points - but it was a pity that I lost a win, and that is not the same. That was really bad but I try not to put energy into things that I cannot influence. So I moved on very quickly to this race - and the other things that happened in between.
Q: How do you divide your emotions between your personal pursuit for success and that of the team? They had a winner on the podium…
NR: The team is very good at that. They are not happy - they are not ecstatic when one guy wins and the other breaks down - they are only ecstatic when it is a 1-2 win, and then it doesn’t matter which way. As I said before: the team handles that well.
Q: There is a lot in the media about your relationship with Lewis - some even go so far as to call it ‘star wars’! What is reality? And how much is that media hype a distraction?
NR: I don’t read the media, so it isn’t a distraction to me. But of course I hear what is going on around me, and that’s fine. It adds some spice to the whole thing, and yes, there is spice sometimes! It’s not like there is not - we are fighting for race wins every two weekends! So it is normal that there are times with glitches - but also easier times. So stay tuned!
Q: ‘Star wars’ sounds pretty cool, doesn’t it?
NR: Ha, I can see your opinion - but I don’t agree with it!
Q: But you have seen the Star Wars movies?
NR: Of course. Who am I? I want to be Darth Vader!
Q: What about Luke Skywalker - the straight, honest, dedicated guy?
NR: Ok, I am Luke Skywalker.
Q: And your team mate probably Han Solo?
NR: All I know is that I’m Luke Skywalker! (laughs)
Q: You and Lewis have known each other since childhood and Lewis has spoken recently about how different your upbringings were. Did you ever suspect that there was a bit of envy on Lewis’ side when it came to your background? Having a dad who was an F1 champion, having been the kid with the best equipment, the best schooling?
NR: Envy is the wrong word. I think he said that it was an inspiration. Yes, I was very fortunate growing up like I did - and having been connected to the F1 environment early on - but don’t forget Lewis was a McLaren driver from the age of twelve. That is quite something!
Q: You are known to be a hard worker - sitting for hours with your engineers to get to the bottom of things. Is that just a necessity or is there also some pleasure involved?
NR: I enjoy it as it is such an interesting aspect of racing. I have that ‘technological beast’ in me, and if I can tune it to my liking and perfection with my engineers, it becomes all the more enjoyable on track.
Q: Has it become more difficult this year?
NR: No, it is always difficult. There are so many layers to these machines.
Q: Your dad (1982 world champion Keke Rosberg) was racing relative simple cars back in his day. Is he interested in the development the F1 cars have taken since then?
NR: No. In Monaco he put the headsets on and said ‘are you crazy?’ because there is so much stuff going on. He said that we - all the drivers - are completely crazy. How can we ever concentrate on driving with all this stuff going on!
Q: Lewis is considered by some as the driver with more natural talent - and you the one with probably the stronger focus. What will win out in the end?
NR: First of all: that is the opinion of others and I do not necessarily agree with all of that. I try to make the most of my situation and don’t want to speak about advantages on any side of the garage.
Q: It is no secret that many drivers seem to have been ‘jinxed’ at their home race over the years. Now Lewis is sailing on the tailwind of his home race win…
NR: I have won my home race twice! In Monaco - my one home race. This is my other one…
Q: Can you counter - at this other home race of yours?
NR: Of course it would be very special to win here. Believe me: I will do anything to counter!
Q: For quite some time many drivers have preferred to reside in comfortable motorhomes on the European leg of the calendar. But you are definitely the king of ‘glamping’…
NR: Ha, but believe me: everybody is a king of glamping at this level!
Q: But your motorhome was styled by your new wife Vivian…
NR: Yes, it was. It is incredible - it looks like an apartment inside. It is my home around Europe - it gives me comfort, and - here you go again - continuity. I really enjoy living in my own things.
Q: So what is the best thing on your glamper?
NR: I have a golden lamp with a machine gun from Philippe Starck. It is a drop-dead cool thing - really big. It’s the only golden thing in there so it stands out.
Q: If that doesn’t make you the king of glamping - what will?
NR: Ha, yep, it’s looking good for me!