Q & A with Nico Rosberg
|Thursday, March 17th 2011, 11:26 GMT|
Conducted and provided by Mercedes GP's press office.
Q. You said that the latest update to the MGP W02 will be an impressive performance gain. How did the car feel compared to earlier in the winter?
Nico Rosberg: We've made good progress over the four tests. It's perhaps been a more difficult winter than we expected but everyone has worked really hard and pushed on with the new upgrades so that we have the car that we want for the start of the season. We haven't got the fastest car yet but we are going in the right direction. The handling is better, the car has more grip, and is generally more fun to drive.
Q. Is this the car that can bring you your first win?
NR: I hope so! We are certainly looking much better this year and our main target is to improve on our performances from last year. We have a good platform to do that.
Q. How challenging has it been to master the new systems on the car?
NR: We understand the Pirelli tyres well now, both over race distances and shorter qualifying runs, and had the opportunity to try them out in the wet on the last day in Barcelona. KERS took some getting used to: it was a completely new system for the team, and also for me as a driver. The trickiest thing from a driving point of view is under braking, because the amount of energy you try to harvest can really affect the balance of the car. The adjustable rear wing is actually fairly straightforward to operate and should bring an extra interest to the races.
Q. Will the driver have a bigger strategic role to play and are you looking forward to that?
NR: Yes, definitely. The strategy is going to be really interesting this year and, thanks to Pirelli, we will have some very exciting races, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how it works out. As a driver, you always want to be more involved in the race, so that should be good.
Q. What do you think will be the biggest surprise for the fans at the first race in Melbourne?
NR: It's always difficult to predict who is on top from the testing times but I think there will be a real battle in Melbourne. The race strategy is going to be fascinating and the number of pit stops should make it really exciting for the fans.