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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Engine precautions won’t affect performance

06 Oct 2016

World championship leader Nico Rosberg does not believe a Mercedes engine failure will decide this year’s drivers’ title. It follows team mate Lewis Hamilton’s retirement whilst leading in Malaysia four days ago. That has led the team to revise their engine settings as a precautionary measure for this weekend’s 2016 Formula 1 Emirates Japanese Grand Prix - but Rosberg insists it won’t impact on performance, as he explained to the media at Suzuka…

Q: Nico, are you worried that what happened to Lewis’s car in Malaysia could also happen to you - and that it could be a decisive factor in the championship?

Nico Rosberg: I am not worried - and in the end it is something that I cannot influence and I have learned over the years not to worry about things that are not in my hands. I trust the team that they will do the best they can to make sure that such an engine failure will not happen again. There will be certain changes on the engine for this weekend here in Japan. Am I worried that such an issue could decide the championship? No.

Q: Will these changes mean you have less performance this weekend?

NR: No, that is not the case.

Q: But what do this changes the mean?

NR: They are nothing that will affect me on track. It is more of a ‘being extra careful’ change. I cannot say more than that.

Q: Do you get encouragement from the fact that your only rival for the title was pretty angry at the previous race?

NR: No, I don’t draw encouragement from that, because I know that Lewis - when he has difficulties like that - will come back fully motivated - and that is not really an encouraging fact! (Laughs)

Q: We are close to the end of the longest Formula One season ever. How do you keep your energy level up?

NR: This is where experience really helps. I have learned to manage my energy, and learned where not to waste my energy - like on rubbish stuff like reading the news about me, or playing computer games, or going partying. (Laughs)

Q: How are you shutting out all the questions about the championship, the statistics that suggest you should win the title - all those things that can distract your focus?

NR: I have decided to take the approach of not letting all these things get to me - and so far it is working pretty well. I am taking it race by race - with no maths on my mind. I came here to win the Japanese Grand Prix - that’s it - and not thinking of what comes after that, of what it means in terms of statistics and points. Full stop.

Q: Did you feel blessed in Malaysia after your team mate lost an almost certain win?

NR: Not at all. I had a rather difficult afternoon myself, so there was no thought about Lewis’s situation. But I also have to admit that I am very fortunate in life.

Q: When you say that you don’t waste time on rubbish any longer, is that because you have other things now that help you to unwind - your family?

NR: Yes, the family helps. It is a haven that you return to after the races and that makes you forget about racing for a couple of days.

Q: Coming back to statistics…

NR: …ha, obviously that is what keeps the outside world occupied much more than me.

Q: The statistics show that you have been on pole position here for the last two years, but both times you finished second. What do you say about that?

NR: That I have to work on the result side on Sunday!

Q: Most of the drivers love Suzuka. Why is that?

NR: Because it is one of the most risky tracks out there. There is no room for any errors - it is fast and it is old school. All these factors make it exciting.