Nico Rosberg Q&A: Pole down to perfect timing

05 Jul 2014

World championship leader Nico Rosberg retained his recent edge over his Mercedes team mate on Saturday. While Lewis Hamilton chose to abandon his final Silverstone qualifying run, thinking conditions were worsening, Rosberg continued, and - by his own admission - got lucky. But despite a five-place advantage over his rival on the grid, Rosberg knows he still has a battle on his hands - both in Sunday’s Grand Prix and in the title race…

Q: Nico, it’s your fourth pole position of the season. When looking at your time one can only say that the odds look good for you bagging the win tomorrow. What would it psychologically mean winning here - on Lewis’s home soil?

Nico Rosberg: Yes, it is true, the odds look promising and the momentum has been on my side lately. The task for tomorrow is to extract the maximum out of that situation, as we all know how fast momentum can disappear. But to be honest, I don’t really think about that this is his home race - I just want to win every race that we go to, no matter where. I want for the team to do well, as our factories are very close to this track and I want to give them back something for all their work and support.

Q: What would you say it is that right now gives you an advantage over Lewis in the standings?

NR: Momentum. There are so many things that can go right or wrong, so there is no specific thing that you can put it down to. This afternoon it was all about being out at the right time. Timing was everything today. We have been lucky in that respect. It was a fantastic team effort with my engineers. All the decisions came at the right time.

Q: Is there a different approach that you have taken, as this season is really working well for you?

NR: No, no different approach - I have not changed. Not at all!

Q: You have a clear run at the title - at least right now it looks that way. Your dad Keke was a Formula One world champion. Are you taking his advice on how to do it?

NR: He has not really given advice. And if he did, it is not easy to take advice. Probably in hindsight I always listened to what he said, but in the first moment I always try to argue the point. Sometimes he gives his view on race strategy, something in that area.

Q: When did it dawn on you for the first time that this could be your season to grab the title?

NR: In the winter thoughts popped up in my mind that there could be a serious chance this year and after the tests those thoughts hardened as it became obvious that we would have a very competitive package.

Q: We are halfway through the season and you are leading the standings. With what kind of mental approach are you heading into the second half?

NR: Nothing really changes. It is an awesome feeling leading the standings - it is a bit of a teaser - but other than that nothing has changed. (laughs)

Q: How are you planning to keep Hamilton behind you? That will probably be your first and foremost challenge…

NR: Yes, it is a challenge. There has been no race really where he was not racing on my back or I on his. And his starting from P6 will still give him a good chance to get through. It’s indeed a tough battle - and in the end the beauty of it is having such a close fight.

Q: Could a Silverstone win be the decisive factor in this year’s championship?

NR: I would not say that it is ‘the’ decisive factor, but of course every race matters and what is paramount for me right now is to keep that rhythm that I have right now.

Q: The two of you are team mates and your task together is to bring the team forward relative to your rivals, so you have to cooperate. But how far does that cooperation go? Is there data that you’ve collected that you say is only for you?

NR: First and foremost I drive for the team - that goes for the both of us - and it shows how well that functions because you only can dominate this sport as a team and never as a ‘lone warrior’. But of course there is a point when you want to keep your own findings in the final set-up and the team accepts that, as long as it doesn’t have an influence on the overall performance of the team.

Q: Can you explain what it is like to drive the F1 W05 Hybrid? Is it that fantastic car that every other driver envies?

NR: It is hard to say because it is so different to last year’s car. In relation to others it is fantastic, but I cannot say that this goes for the driving experience.

Q: So how does this track suit you - and your car? Your fastest lap indicates that here is a love story in the making…

NR: I think the track suits us perfectly. The conditions in the practice sessions have been difficult - the strong wind on Friday and the rain this morning - so it was indeed a challenge to set-up the car for qualifying and then for race, as the conditions will be very difficult in the race with no rain and no wind in the forecast. So as I said before, this afternoon was all about the right timing and the right calls. I have been fortunate that it worked in my favour.

Q: Next weekend will be your home Grand Prix - and looking at your stats this year there may well also be a win waiting in the wings for you there. Does that create extra pressure - as it is also Mercedes’ home soil?

NR: Of course it is more special, especially if you feel all the support of all the people that cheer for you. I felt fantastic when I won Monaco which is also sort of home race for me and all the marshals around the track waved their flags and shouted ‘Nico, Nico!’ So definitely I would like to have that sort of treat in two weeks’ time in Germany.