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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Hamilton’s advantage a shock

22 Aug 2015

Nico Rosberg seized the initiative on Friday in Belgium, and looked a good bet for pole when he topped Q2 - but in the final shootout he had no answer to team mate Lewis Hamilton. The German admits he was taken aback by the magnitude of Hamilton’s advantage – but insists that hasn’t put paid to his hopes of triumphing on Sunday...

Q: Nico, did qualifying play out as you expected today?

Nico Rosberg: Actually I expected to be on pole today, as it went extremely well throughout Q1 and Q2. I was very surprised with what Lewis was able to do, especially when I got out of the car and he had improved his time, which was of course very annoying for me. He was able to pull out an extra bit, which I was not able to do.

Q: Do you have an idea of where in the middle sector it was that you lost the time?

NR: Yes, it was mainly in the Turn 12, 13 and 14 section - but then again I think it was everywhere in the middle sector. In the first and third sectors you mainly have round corners and straights - this is where you have to put your foot down, and I am very good at doing that. The second sector is where the corners are, and it was there I had my problems today.

Q: Have you been able to fully understand what happened to your tyre to trigger your incident on Friday?

NR: It is still not fully understood. What is assumed is that there must have been something from the outside that was on the track that must have cut through the tyre. That is the theory - but nobody knows as you cannot see anything. It is still worrying for everybody. We have done a few things to help it, but for sure we need to keep a close eye on the TV screen so that it does not happen again.

Q: You trail Lewis Hamilton in the points, and start behind him tomorrow. Are there any fundamental things that you think you need to do to become world champion?

NR: If you look at the first part of the season I only narrowly missed out. In Hungary there were even times where I was leading the championship. Of course it does help to be in front more often in qualifying, like last year, but then there were times were I missed out for various reasons. This year if I can be stronger in finishing...

Q: The margin between you and Lewis today, does that reflect in any way a focus on race preparation?

NR: Of course this was not in any way on purpose. I had understeer today, and understeer will help tomorrow. But it is nothing that I wanted to do. Of course the set-up is always a bit of a compromise, and I am trying to focus more on the race in this respect rather than on qualifying.

Q: How do you think the start will go tomorrow?

NR: I expect more people to mess up there start, when you look at the entire grid.