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Nico Rosberg Q&A: We will still have ‘amazing duels’

07 Jul 2016

Nico Rosberg’s last-lap clash with team mate Lewis Hamilton in Austria has prompted Mercedes to issue their drivers with new ‘rules of engagement’ ahead of this weekend’s 2016 Formula 1 British Grand Prix. The public is not being made privy to those rules, but Rosberg insists they won’t dampen his intense championship rivalry with his team mate…

Q: Nico, a few days on from the stewards’ decision in Austria, do you accept that you caused the accident with your team mate Lewis Hamilton?

Nico Rosberg: From my point of view it is not black or white. I do respect the stewards’ decision, and that they came to that decision as a group, but this does not mean that I have to fully agree with it and my view can be different.

Q: After having been back at the factory and exchanging opinions with your team management, how do you move on as a Formula One racer?

NR: I move on pretty straightforward. This accident is a thing of the past now and I fully focus on this weekend and what is ahead of us. I am now here in Silverstone and I am excited to drive this track, as it is one of the most enjoyable throughout the entire season. I am also here to win this race.

The message from the team has arrived with me very clearly. We now have new rules of engagement and we have to follow the modified rules of engagement - which may or may not mean that one would approach things differently. I cannot share these new rules, as we as a team have decided that they are for internal use only.

Q: Is there a need for an apology to your team and team mate?

NR: To me this is not a question of apologizing. We are now moving forward and overall it is a thing of the past. We have had our discussions and we have been through the details. Together we have come to a conclusion of how best to move forward. That’s it. Now we will go back to racing again and the good thing for all of us is that we are still free to race, which is what we all want. We all want to battle out there, and I also want to battle Lewis out there, as this is one of the best things that I love, and possibly beat him which would give me the biggest thrill. This is something that remains nearly unchanged, which is the most important I think.

Looking at the situation from the outside, of course we are team mates and we must avoid contact and collision, which results in costing the team points. So for sure this situation must be discussed constructively and we have come to conclusions and agreements, which are bringing us forward.

Q: What is your opinion on team orders in this context then?

NR: In general I do not like team orders, but they are part of the game and they have always been part of the game. I do respect all instructions from the team, as I have shown this year in Monaco. They are being done because they make sense, and I know that the team treats both of us drivers in a fair way. Team instructions are part of our sport, and sometimes they are even necessary.

Q: Toto Wolff has used the term ‘last warning'. How do you deal with this going into the next possible battle on the race track this weekend?

NR: Of course I will fight for a race win - nothing less! Nevertheless, I have the new modified rules of engagement in the back of my mind. But there is nothing to worry about, even with new rules there will be amazing duels on the track.