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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Start mistakes in Japan no source of concern

10 Oct 2015

Pole didn't work out for Nico Rosberg in Suzuka, where Lewis Hamilton moved ahead courtesy of a better start and an uncompromising line through the first turns. Rather than stressing about a potential repeat, however, Rosberg says his only priority is correcting past mistakes, and chasing a victory could be crucial to his championship hopes...

Q: Nico, your second pole position in a row - and with quite a gap to your team mate. Give us your impressions!

Nico Rosberg: Today it just felt good out there. The balance of the car was right, there was a great push and some great laps. So everything came together very well. And of course I am also very happy with the gap. (laughs)

Q: In what way did the shorter practice session influence your race preparation?

NR: It does make it a little bit more difficult as we haven't done the full race preparation, so there are some unknowns - although we are quite confident that we have a good set-up in place as well as a good strategy. We are looking into a one-stop race. In general I do prefer to have more laps in the practice sessions, rather than less, to feel more comfortable in the car, but obviously this time it has affected everyone. This year is one step softer than last year, so there could be a few surprises coming up ahead.

Q: You had a very unusual Q3 strategy this time, going out once and for four laps in total. How did this come together?

NR: We had the feeling that we could get the tyres working best using one slow lap, an attacking second, and then the same again - a slow lap and attacking on the fourth. Surprisingly even after that the tyres were still in good shape, so we we might even have had the chance for another go if the time would have allowed us. 

Q: What chances do you have to react to any temperature changes that might occur here tomorrow?

NR: There are not a lot of things that we can do other than changing the settings of the front wing or pushing on the tyres to get more understeer into the car - that is about all we are able to do. Let's see if this is really necessary. For sure the few laps leading up to the grid formation will be very important as well to see how the balance of the car is, knowing that the tyre temperature will be quite a bit lower than during the race of course. I need to use these laps to get a feeling for this very situation. In regards to the engine temperatures we have to be careful with the fuel consumption here anyway, which will help to not overheat the engine. So we are not at the limit in this regard.

Q: After the start in Japan, do you think it is necessary for you, Lewis and the team sit together again and clarify any doubts?

NR: In general everything is clear to everyone, and we follow up the exact FIA regulations, so there is basically nothing to clarify.

Q: There is quite a long straight before the first braking point. How much of a risk do you see going into the right-hander of Turn 2?

NR: This time I do not intend to be in the situation of correcting any mistakes. My intention is to make the most out of an amazing start. But for sure it will be a tougher fight down the straight than at most other tracks, so we will see tomorrow.

Q: Were you surprised at all by the advantage you have towards the non-Mercedes powered team?

NR: Somehow yes, as we did not really know where we stood ourselves. The information prior to qualifying was that it will be very tight so in this respect I am somewhat surprised.

Q: The best scenario of course for you would be a race win without your team mate being second. How do you think this could come together?

NR: First of all the constructors' title is very important to the team and for this our grid positions look very promising. For anything else I might need the help of some other drivers or teams and I am not sure if this is their intention at all. So I will do my best to win this race - anything else is not in my hands.