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Nico Rosberg Q&A: New Spielberg surface will have ‘big impact’

30 Jun 2016

After his dominant win last time out in Baku, championship leader Nico Rosberg comes into this weekend’s Austrian round confident of another strong result. Rosberg says the newly-laid tarmac will pose a definite challenge, but insists it’s one his Mercedes team - or his ‘racing family’ as he terms them - are very well placed to meet…

Q: Nico, has anything changed in regards to your contractual situation for next season?

Nico Rosberg: Nothing has changed for the moment, and this matter has not any urgency for me right now. I have always said that I will be here for more years to come. For me it feels great to be here, and the team is very happy with me as well.

Q: The track here at the Red Bull Ring has been resurfaced for this year: did you already have the chance to look at this?

NR: I think that this will have a quite big impact, and of course we have adapted our set-up accordingly. We have sent someone to measure the asphalt to try to understand what the impact will be on our tyres. This is a crucial aspect in regards to the whole set-up of the car, where we are putting in a lot of effort.

Today I had a run on the track to take a look myself. But then, of course, we will learn the most from driving the track tomorrow. On top of that we have received a bit of data from our DTM colleagues, saying that it will be more difficult to get temperature into the tyres.

It will be for sure more challenging, but this has been one of our strengths in the past few races - to understand very fast what has to be modified on the car and adapt to the new situation. So I am very positive that we will be able to incorporate new changes faster than others.

Q: There are suggestions that there could be a vacancy at Ferrari for next year. Has it crossed your mind to look into this matter, just because Ferrari is the most prestigious and famous team?

NR: Mercedes to me is just as legendary and I do feel very much at home here, as they are my racing family. This is where I want to be for the foreseeable future.

Q: Have the team changed anything on the dash of your steering wheel to avoid possible issues in the future, such as those Lewis Hamilton had in Baku?

NR: There is not a lot that you can change. This is the nature of racing, as you can never be 100 percent perfect. The goal of the rules not allowing the pit wall to pass on certain information was to make the race more challenging for both the teams and the drivers. The team has to ensure that the driver has all the options to handle everything on his own. During the winter this was also part of our simulator program, so that I would be able to solve problems on my own. It was clear that it would be more difficult, so I have practised this a lot.

The fans were complaining that we drivers are just puppets on the strings of the engineers and that we just do what they tell us, so I think that the changes of rules are okay how they are now, as we will be even further away from perfection. There are always compromises that you have to agree on and I perfectly understand if the radio conversations sound far away from being high-tech or Formula One-like. But you will never have the perfect scenario, whatever you do.

Q: There are four races coming up in July and 100 points up for grabs: how are you approaching this very tight schedule?

NR: My approach is to deal with this race by race, so I am looking only at what is up next. We will have a great race here in Austria and the car is looking very good, and on top of that we have smaller developments continuously coming. For sure the time will be intense, especially for the mechanics and not so much for me. I guess that the best way to incentivise all of us is to win the race here on Sunday to give all of us even more motivation.