Nico & Lewis – Fighting fit for 2016!

nico rosberg and lewis hamilton

Nico Rosberg: “I had a great winter break – spending a lot of time with family”, says Nico. “I spent most of it at home with my young daughter – that’s the best place in the world to me! I’ve been training hard too, of course. The first day after last season finished was when 2016 started for me, so I’ve really been getting into that and bringing myself up to speed for the new season.

“The winter is when you really need to build up your fitness as, for the rest of the season, you’re really just trying to hold it at that level. There’s not really enough time to properly increase your fitness once we’re on the road, so this is a crucial time of year and you have to use it as effectively as you can. I’ve mainly been doing endurance work – swimming and cycling, some weight training for the specific racing muscles like the neck and then reaction training with lots of Ping-Pong!”

And that preparation will be more important than ever this year. A record-breaking Grand Prix calendar is set to stretch drivers and teams alike – with some welcome additions
to the schedule also in the mix…

“I’m really glad the German Grand Prix is back on the calendar for 2016”, says Nico. “A Formula One World Championship without the German Grand Prix just doesn’t feel right. It’s a country full of racing fanatics and, being German myself, I really enjoy driving there. I won at Hockenheim two years ago and I can’t wait to and try to do that again in front of our Mercedes-Benz home fans. Then there’s a new race in Baku, which is exciting for everybody. I’ve heard good things about the city and the country, plus it looks like a great track too. As always with a new venue, it’ll be a good challenge that we’ll need to adapt to as we don’t fully know what to expect.

“There are 21 races this year, which is great for the fans and for us drivers. But there’s a limit to everything and I think that’s more or less the maximum now. Thinking about everyone in the team – all the mechanics and engineers, who work so hard on the cars when we’re on the road – it becomes too much time away from home and their families. It’s probably ok for now – but we need to make sure it doesn’t become too much for them.”

“It’s such an exciting experience, getting behind the wheel of a new car for the first time”, adds Nico. “Especially right now, when you know there’s a good chance you’ll have a winner on your hands. By the time you get out on track you’ve seen so many drawings and sat in so many hours of meetings discussing every little detail of the car that to finally get in there and feel it is incredible. I really look forward to that moment, every year.”

Naturally, both drivers will be hoping the latest Silver Arrow has the necessary credentials to carry them all the way through the 21 race calendar towards the title. And despite holding 57 Grand Prix victories, 128 podiums, 71 pole positions, 130 front row starts and 42 fastest race laps between them, the motivation to add to those figures is as strong as ever.

“It seems crazy that I’ll be starting my 200th Formula One race this year in Singapore”, says Nico. “It’s been a great voyage so far and I’m looking forward to many more to come. Maybe I’ll even have a small celebration in Singapore. But really, that’s not an important number. I’ll save the big party for a Championship win. I’ve had the car to help me realise that dream twice now but haven’t quite been able to bring everything together – yet. I’ve proven I can win, I’ve proven I can fight and I’ve proven I can bounce back. I’m absolutely focused and determined that this can be my year.”

“It was a great end to the season for me last year”, adds Nico. “I’m always adapting and modifying my approach and I found a bit of a better way in the final few race weekends, so the aim is of course to try to continue that in 2016. Unfortunately, with a new year and a new car a lot of things have changed, so it’s difficult to say whether you can carry things you were doing before across – but let’s see what happens. I’m certainly optimistic. I’m looking for that key to unlocking the final step to the title all the time and I will fight for it again this year. The opposition will be strong, of course. Lewis is doing a great job and we need to keep an eye on Ferrari as well. But with the team that we have and the cars I know they can build, I’ve always got a shot.”

[VIDEO] 2016 Season preview with Nico Rosberg


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