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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Hamilton still a threat from P10

18 Jun 2016

After a pair of disappointing races which have seen his championship lead dwindle, Nico Rosberg needed a good race in Baku – and on Saturday he set himself up for one by securing his third pole position of the season. But the German knows the hard work is still to come – even with team mate Lewis Hamilton starting back in tenth…

Q: Was pole position even more satisfying after what happened to Lewis?

NR: No, it didn’t add anything to my satisfaction - but yes, I am very happy to start from pole! And happy that my direct opponent is a bit further back because that is going to make it easier for me in the race. Or not easier - that’s the wrong word because trying to win a race is never easy and the opposition is still pretty tough with Ricciardo and the Ferraris - and of course from Lewis starting from P10. He has shown lately that coming from the back is what he can do really well, so I expect him to do just this in the race.

Q: Nico, can you understand why your ‘direct opponent’ [Hamilton] would not do a track walk or not do more than eight laps in the simulator to prepare for a new circuit?

NR: First of all: I didn’t know that he hasn’t done a track walk and that he’s only done a few laps in the simulator. Everybody has their own approach - and obviously this approach works for him. He is a three-time world champion so he must be doing something right! So who is qualified to criticise his approach. My approach is different - so what do you make out of that?

Q: The race starts at 5pm local time and we noticed today that the sun is already pretty low. Is that a worry?

NR: I didn’t even notice it. So obviously it is not.

Q: This track holds some surprises and difficult parts. What’s the trickiest for you?

NR: I guess it is turn fifteen. You are braking and during your braking the track falls away and changes direction.

Q: What about the tyre management? All predictions point to multiple safety car phases?

NR: I don’t think it is the tyre management that will be the biggest issue - but the mess that the race could turn into. So staying out of the mess and not losing the rhythm will be a challenge.

Q: In Monaco you had braking issues. Is that something that you also expect here?

NR: No, because in Monaco the brakes were in a completely different window than here! The brake issues there were specifically Monaco related.

Q: The last two race wins have gone to your ‘direct opponent’. After today’s pole position is there the need to convert it to a race win tomorrow?

NR: It is not imperative - but it would be great. I would love to win the race tomorrow. And I don’t think too far beyond of that. The best approach is always to concentrate on the obvious - and that is going for the win!