Q: Nico, Malaysia was a wake-up call for Mercedes and of course you want to bounce back this weekend. What will help you more to achieve that: the updates on the car or the track itself?
Nico Rosberg: I would say the track. Malaysia is not our kind of track: neither the conditions nor the layout. But we should be back to normal here.
Q: Does that mean that you are pretty happy with these colder conditions?
NR: Oh yes. In the heat of Malaysia we revealed unmistakable weaknesses. So these temperatures are very welcome.
Q: What about the updates here? Are they substantial?
NR: No, not really. It is in the range of our normal development. We bring updates to every race, and also here. Of course we hope that it will help us. So no, it's not a new car as a kind of panic solution after Malaysia - it's our next planned development step. That included a new front wing that I tested in FP1, for which we have to analyse the data.
Q: Is this track still a magic place for you? It was here in 2012 that you won your first race…
NR: Of course it is. The venue for your first race win will always be something special - and it should again look good here [this weekend] so my fondness is even bigger...
Q: Can it be that you see Sebastian Vettel as a kind of buffer in your quest for this year's title and Lewis's ambitions for title number three?
NR: It can be the case. But looking at the last race the buffer suddenly became the leader and hence a threat - or more than a threat because he was the fastest there. So it also can be that the situation backfires.
Q: There is talk that there will be different strategies [within Mercedes] in races in particular circumstances…
NR: …and for me as a driver this is a bit of an uneasy situation. But if it happens it happens. First and foremost I drive for Mercedes - and in this early stage of the season we have to focus primarily on the team. The team has priority.
Q: But if that starts to happen on a frequent basis?
NR: That will strongly depend on Ferrari. If they are closing up these particular circumstances might happen regularly.
Q: Back to this weekend, how important was today's running?
NR: Friday is extremely important because it has a direct influence on the race on Sunday. Friday you practice for the race and Saturday you practice for qualifying. Based on that fact this should be a weekend with no undesirable surprises! (laughs)
Q: How did it work for you today then?
NR: Unfortunately not as well as I had hoped. I tried a fast lap on the soft tyres and tried to find a different line to squeeze out more time - but that didn't work and in fact cost me a lot of time. But Lewis showed the true potential of the car. My impression is that Ferrari is coming even closer here - so it will be a long night to prepare the car for qualifying.