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Nico Rosberg Q&A: I have nothing to lose in Austin

23 Oct 2015

After a heart-breaking retirement last time out in Sochi, Nico Rosberg has it all to do in Austin - chances are that nothing less than a win will keep his title hopes alive as Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton looks to wrap up a second successive drivers’ crown. No surprise then that he will be going for broke in America…

Q: After a very disappointing Russian race, what is your target for the United States?

Nico Rosberg: Fact is that I have nothing to lose. So I am very focused. I definitely do have the chance to win here, so I will go for this with everything I have. I want to win.

Q: Ferrari and championship rival Sebastian Vettel is set for a ten-place grid penalty. How much will this help your chances?

NR: As far as I have understood it was always Ferrari’s plan to do the [engine] change here, so no big surprise. But for sure it will make things a little bit easier - not only for me, but for the entire team. To be frank, I have never thought of ending up only third in the championship, as I have a car that allows me to fight for the title win. So this is what I am aiming for. I know that this will be tough to realize, as I am also realistic, and I might also need quite a bit of luck, but until it is clear that there is no chance anymore, I will go for first.

Q: Your team mate Lewis Hamilton has recently complimented you and how you have been dealing with this season’s outcome so far. How do you feel about this?

NR: I haven’t heard this myself. I heard this back at the factory, that Lewis has said these things at the celebrations. It is a very nice gesture from him. And, of course, we’ve known each other for such a long time.

Q: You have been in Formula One racing now for 10 years. Is there anything that you would like to see changing for the upcoming seasons?

NR: Formula One is such an exciting sport I think, and of course I am not happy to hear any negative things about it. What is important I think is that we should listen to all our supporters in the world who are watching this sport - because we are driving for them - so that they feel excited watching the racing and are having a great time. So we need to make sure that we listen to criticism as well. In every sport there are ups and downs. Take tennis for example. There have been years where things have gone down a bit every year. We continuously need to rethink and also improve our sport so that we are able to put on a great show and always move forward as the years go on. Every race car is exciting if you are driving on the limit, and especially in Formula One racing we are driving on the knife’s edge. There is some amazing racing going on at the moment, if you are looking at some of the onboard cameras. It is not more or less difficult than in former years, as driving on the edge is always challenging. For sure there are things that we as a sport could do better, but these need to be discussed and improved.

Q: Last year Lewis had the chance to win the drivers’ championship two races before the end of the season. This year it is four races. Why so much earlier?

NR: I think it comes down to three things. Number one is the qualifying - this has changed around this season and is definitely helping him. Number two is that he had a more consistent year. And number three is that I have, for whatever reason, been unluckier as well. So these are the three things that in my opinion came together this year and gave him that advantage.

Q: Is your father Keke giving you valuable advice on how to attack for the championship?

NR: Not so much, as in general we do not discuss these things in detail. We talk a lot about bigger things, such as life in general, but so much details about racing and the championship.
He is not coming to many races, so this is making it a bit difficult for him to make a proper judgment on what is going on here. Watching the races on TV from the couch is not giving him enough detail to give proper advice. Of course he is giving me his thoughts from time to time, and I take them in and think about it.

Q: What is your professional opinion on your team mate Lewis Hamilton as a racing driver - possibly winning his third drivers’ championship?

NR: He is for sure one of the best drivers out there that we have at the moment.

Q: Do you feel that you had an equal chance this year to be able to win the drivers’ title?

NR: Yes, I do. I had a fair shot at the championship last year as well as this year. Just like last year the team have been treating both us drivers the same way up until now, for which I am very thankful, as I think this is not only the right approach but also a great approach.