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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Title pressure won't change approach

24 Nov 2016

Abu Dhabi has been the site of title heartbreak for Nico Rosberg in the past, but this time it's different - mathematically he is the clear favourite, with a 12-point lead over Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton. Even if Hamilton wins, Rosberg needs only third place to be crowned champion. So how will he approach the Yas Marina weekend, and could his previous disappointments turn out to be what takes him to ultimate glory?

Q: Nico, how do you rate your chances of winning the drivers' title this weekend?

Nico Rosberg: Both of us, Lewis and I, have good chances in fact, but other than that I have not thought further about this topic.

I am extremely happy to even be in such a situation and I have been working hard all year long to be exactly at that very spot. I am motivated as usual. This weekend it is very important for me to be able to deliver my best performance, so I will continue as I have done all other races of the season before. This is how I got that far, and that is exactly the reason why I am not changing anything.

Also the rest of the team, and, of course, especially the people directly around me will treat this weekend like any other race weekend.

Q: What emotions come to mind when you think of actually becoming Formula One world champion?

NR: I am really happy about it. It feels great and I am in the best shape ever. I had a great time just before coming to Abu Dhabi with my family and had also the chance to do some amazing training. I arrived here extremely well prepared. I have to say that this track suits me pretty well, and I already had some successful moments here in the past, even though this does not really count right now, as all of us will start from zero on Sunday. It is a great situation that I am in and believe me I really want to win this race. I am interested in everything that will enable me to grow and to get better every day and learn from difficult situations. I have a good stomach feeling about this weekend and I will race for the win.

Q: Do you feel the pressure already?

NR: Not exactly right now, as it is only Thursday. But for sure my adrenalin level will rise during the next two days. But this is happening at any given Formula One weekend, as those weekends are very intense anyway. It is a challenge from the beginning till the end, and that is exactly the reason why I am racing. For the last three years I have been arriving at a race weekend with the best car available on the grid. Who has ever had this before? This gives you an extra motivation. I basically know that if I drive well and make no mistake I will be able to get the pole position and also win the race. That is an awesome feeling in itself - and what might or might not come with it is something that I will discuss on Sunday after the race. 

Q: Besides your lead in the points, do you see any other advantages that you have over your team mate?

NR: For sure it is better to have an advantage in the points. That is simply mathematics. Thinking back to 2014 I am really happy that I had a different situation as well. For sure this was a very rough moment, which I guess many careers have in one way or the other. I am very happy for myself that I have been able to come out stronger. 

Q: You hold your destiny in your own hands this weekend - if no technical issues happen. Did you think you would ever get to this point after last season? Sometimes all you have is one shot at the title…

NR: When I lost the world championship in Austin last year, I was thinking a lot about the situation. And then I was able to win seven consecutive races. But don't get me wrong: I do not want this to happen again, that is for sure. But yes, I do believe that I am sitting exactly where I am now because of all these difficult situations that made me stronger. I personally think that if everything had been bright sunshine I would not be where I am now.