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Nico Rosberg Q&A: Mercedes feeling the heat from Red Bull

09 Jun 2016

Were it not for Daniel Ricciardo’s disastrous pit stop or Nico Rosberg’s willingness to let team mate Lewis Hamilton by, Red Bull might well have defeated Mercedes last time out in Monaco. On the eve of the race in Canada, Rosberg discusses the growing threat of the Milton Keynes team, and why he has no regrets about his part in Hamilton’s Monte Carlo victory…

Q: Do you have a better picture of what exactly went wrong with you and your car in Monaco?

Nico Rosberg: Of course we have looked at everything in detail and the conclusion is that it was a lot of rather small things that came together and not one major issue. One thing led to another and for sure Monaco is the most penalising track of all for having problems - and then you have it: a difficult result! If one or even more things come together you get a lack of feel for the car, and a lack of confidence as well, which results in holding back a little more, which then leads into another problem and then it is a downwards spiral. So basically everything went wrong that day. The positive is that we got them all out of the way and only good things are here to come again. I am feeling great now and I am aware that you will always have one race like this in racing. So I am not dwelling on that one (in Monaco)! For me it is already a thing of the past and I am looking forward to a good weekend here.

Q: One further element of the downward spiral was for sure having to give a position to your team mate Lewis Hamilton. What was going on in your mind then?

NR: The decision was easy and it was the right thing to do although of course emotionally very tough. I do not have any second thoughts about this - when it comes to the future and that it maybe will get tight in the fight for the championship, it was the only right decision to do. It could have been the other way around as well. This is part of fighting for the championship as a team, and I was able to contribute to the win of the team in Monaco big time! In detail it was the right thing to give Lewis (Hamilton) the opportunity to give it a go - even though I did not 100% know if he was faster than me or not.

Q: The Montreal circuit is very demanding on the brakes - how demanding is it on the body?

NR: Physically it is not demanding, as you have a lot of straights where you can relax. But in general the braking topic is not one of my preferred areas. During the braking event you go though various phases, such as the bite in the beginning, then the fading phase during which the temperature ramps up. For sure I’ve got my head around this, still it is not my preferred area. In Formula One we are a bit on the limit with the brakes in general. For the speed and weight of the cars the brakes have come to a point where they are on the edge.

Q: We will have six races in the next eight weeks. Is there anything that you can do in particular to prepare yourself for this?

NR: For me this is fine, as I do get quite a bit of downtime as well. I am not worried about this at all, rather the contrary - it’s going to be exciting. We have a new race on the calendar with Baku, then also my home Grand Prix, so this is going to be good.

Q: Lewis Hamilton has won in Canada four times, what are your thoughts on the weekend ahead?

NR: Ha, I was not aware of this piece of information to be fair. Personally I like this track a lot and our car is great and I am feeling good. So if I get my things right I can definitely go for a win here.

Q: What are your feelings about Red Bull Racing making big steps towards challenging you guys?

NR: For sure we are feeling the heat from them, and obviously they were very strong in Monaco and in general they are coming at us very quickly. Nevertheless Monaco was a very specific track, because if you look at the Spanish Grand Prix the gap was a bit bigger. I think this is good for the sport: having some hot battles with other teams. Although I am very confident that we still have the best package out there!