FIA Thursday press conference – 2016 Russian Grand Prix

russian grand prix nico rosberg

Thank you. Nico, if we could come to you. Three wins from three. Formula One love a statistic and there have been plenty bandied about concerning your start to season – best start since 2004 for Michael Schumacher. However, you’re the one who has been sounding a note of caution through all that hyperbole. Lewis you’re obviously expecting to bounce back, but how real a threat over these three races has Ferrari been. Have you seen any evidence of what they are capable of yet?

Nico Rosberg: I’m not really sounding any notes of caution, I’m just realistic and Ferrari, amongst others, just haven’t shown what they can do yet. They’ve taken each other out in the last race, for example, in the first corner and from then it was just messy, an an example. A lot of things have been going wrong and for sure they are a lot quicker than they have shown and we think they are very, very close to us.

Mika Hakkinen made some interesting comments earlier this week, I read, talking about your performance this season and what it takes to be a world class driver. I’ll read them: he said the road is long and painful and it doesn’t whether or not your father is a world champion or not, or whether you have friends and family beside you, ultimate a driver is alone in the process. Is that a fair analysis?

NR: I didn’t know that.

Is that how you see it? Is a driver alone in the position that you’re in?

NR: No. I’m not alone. I have our whole team. It’s a team sport in the end; alone I can’t achieve anything. Then the closer group, which is my family, friends, my management, physio and everything. Everything plays into it, everybody has their role and any success I have on the track they are a part of it.

Does it feel like there is a mental burden upon you? Last year, as well, when you were going for a championship, and this year, is there a greater mental burden in that. Does it become very tough?

NR: I generally see it as a very pleasurable experience! Because it’s just an awesome feeling to come to a race track, to know that I have the car to be able to be on pole and win the race. I just look forward to it. So I’m here in Sochi and I can’t wait to get going and see where we are compared to our direct rivals and try to make it happen.


Nico, is there much you can do on strategy at this race? It’s been a regulation one-stop in the past.

NR: Yeah, strategy-wise that’s not going to make it as exciting probably as China, for example, in terms of overtaking. More straightforward there. But, y’know, Turn One, for example, is still a good place to overtake on this track and we’ve seen some exciting stuff in past years. Not as much, of course, as China but some individual exciting moves so hopefully it will still be good. Let’s see.

Q: (Andrea Cremonesi – La Gazzetta dello Sport) Nico, after six wins in a row, can we say that this is the best Nico ever and is it possible for you to describe when the spark ignited, maybe because of the birth of your daughter or maybe they changed the modifications on the car?

NR: First of all yeah, I’m the most experienced Nico since I gained experience last year and the last two years from battling for the championship. Definitely I’m pleased with the way I’ve been driving now in the first three races. For me, it’s not six in a row because the three last year were last year and they don’t count for anything in this year’s championship so for me it’s winning the first three which I’m really happy about but as I said, it’s because… yes, I’ve been driving really well but my opposition had a really messy start. That’s the reality of it. I definitely expect them all to bounce back, especially Lewis and it’s going to be a great battle against them as always and it will be tough, even if I have some points lead now but it’s still such a long season: three races is a seventh or something of the whole thing. There’s like 450 points to take still and now I have 30-something in front or whatever. There’s still a massively long way to go so it’s not really changing the situation much.

Q: (Livio Oricchio – We are reaching a moment where we are seeing nice races this year but everything will change dramatically for next season. There will be a more downforce in the cars, wider tyres and everything. This solution, from the drivers’ point of view, is the solution to make the show even better, to see more competition, to attract the public more?

NR: Our opinion was that it’s not the right direction to go and we were hoping that they would definitely re-look into it and just make sure from a technical point of view to double check. Now this is the way it is, so now all we can do is accept it and make the most of it and hope that there are going to be some surprises. Maybe we’re going to love the cars and enjoy driving them even more than we are now. Maybe all the grip is going to feel great or whatever. Now it’s just accept it and make the most of it.

Q: (Angelique Belokopytov – AutoDigest) For all of you; Nico you were just saying that we just have to accept and do the best with it. Do you all agree with the fact that you have no word to say about what you’re doing on the track? You are making the race so why not have a part of the decision-making?

NR: Actually we’ve been trying to get more involved and actually it’s moving in the right direction because the FIA is asking us more things now. They want to hear our opinion, asking us for get-togethers and so the process is going well, I think, and with time, let’s see where it goes. We will try to be more and more involved because I think we can really give something additional to the direction of the sport, because we know a lot of things about what should be good for the sport, because we’re driving the cars in the end.

Q: What I did wanted to ask was: drivers, the input that you have, when you’re driving the car, do you really know what is the best for the sport from the outside, because a driver will always want what’s best for a driver but can you make that valued judgement on what occurs?

NR: What I meant was we love the sport, all of us and I don’t say that we’re just going to say what we think is best for us driving in the car. We do think beyond that and think about everybody who’s in front of a TV screen, supporting us and excited about this sport. That’s what we’re think about and we think that as a group we are wise enough to definitely give some added value for the future direction.


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