Nico Rosberg Q&A

Nico Rosberg is contesting this year's German F3 series in a car run by his father Keke's team, and he looked good in the first round at Hockenheim recently. Although many of his rivals are more experienced, Rosberg Jr does have a strong organisation around him, as he has stepped into the shoes of 2002 champ Gary Paffett. In December he became the youngest man ever to have a serious test in an F1 car when he drove a Williams, 20 years after his dad won the World Championship. He's still on course to become one of the youngest Grand Prix drivers of all time, as he doesn't turn 18 until late June. He's starting at university in London next October, and it will be interesting to see how he juggles his two careers! Adam Cooper spoke to Nico when he visited the Spanish GP

Nico Rosberg Q&A



"Generally it's gone really, really well. In the official test I was always between fourth and sixth, which was already quite good, because all the other people have a lot of experience. There are seven F3 race winners I think, and they all have minimum one-year experience in F3. There are Formula Renault champions from everywhere as well. And I've come from the little BMW series."



"I have to pay a big compliment to the Formula BMW category, because the step wasn't as big as I thought it might be, which says that the BMW car was a really great car to learn with. Generally the power to grip level is very similar to F3. In F3 you have a great grip level, but you don't have too much power. So it really forces you to learn the driving style that you need in F3, which was a great help to me. I saw F3 as a huge thing, and out-of-the-world car, but once I got in I realised that it wasn't such a big step and I can get used to it after a day or so."



"I came to the race thinking that I could drive into the points if all goes well, and I'll be happy with that. In first qualifying on Friday I was up into third, and I should have had a microphone in my helmet, because I was screaming myself crazy! I was really, really happy. That was that for Sunday race, and then we had Saturday morning qualifying for the Saturday afternoon race. In that one I messed up on one lap, and I lost 0.3s which put me from fifth to 14th. On the next lap I had traffic, and the lap after the tyres were finished. I'm just a bit inexperienced, so I accepted it. Once you're in the middle of the field it's really difficult to make much out of it in the race. It was amazing how tough the battling was in the pack, and I've never really experienced stuff like that. I made a mistake in one corner and hit the kerb and it took my front wing off, so that was the end of a bad day! I pitted and went out for the last seven laps just to check what the car was doing and get more experience."



"I was really looking forward to Sunday, because starting from third was great. Sitting on the grid was just an amazing feeling. I had a sensational start, I was much better off the line than the two guys in front. We went away from the pack. Then I took second, but Ryan Briscoe, who was leading, was a little bit too quick for me. I was happy with second, but in the end I was just pushing too hard, and after half distance my tyres were finished. It felt like I was driving on the wheels. I went back to third and then another two cars came up behind me, and we started a big battle for third place. At one stage I was fifth, then I went back up, then I went back down. One time I went down the inside and they didn't see me coming. When the guy saw me he hit the guy on the outside so they went flying into the barriers! I finished the corner and looked in my mirrors and there was nobody there any more, and I was the happiest man alive, I think! Just being up on the podium in the first weekend was so unexpected, I must say."



"I think it's going to be difficult to top third place in the next couple of races. I'll be happy to finish third again, or sometimes fifth or fourth, somewhere up in the points. Towards the end of the season I'll be looking for one or two wins, for sure. The plan is to do two years of course. You've got to be realistic, and two years is what you need in F3."



"I think he's getting less involved this year. I really have the experience of the engineer who won the championship with Gary Paffett last year, and also I'm putting a lot more effort into it. Since my F1 test I really learned how much I really love this, and how much I would really like to make it. I really understood how beautiful this F1 thing really is."



"Really I just went out and thought I just want to enjoy this, and that's what I did. I had the best fun that day, and it was a sensational experience for me."



"Again I thought F1 was going to be a superhuman thing, but I learned that it's a human thing and it is possible. Of course it's going to take a couple of days to get some speed up, but I think I had a reasonable pace, and it wasn't too difficult to get adapted to."



"I don't think that's going to be a possibility in the next few months. It really depends on how I go in F3. I would go testing tomorrow if I could, no problem, but it's better to wait."



"At this stage it is an advantage, but sometimes the father/son thing does go a bit too far. I used to race him in go-karts, but I don't know him that well. We spoke a little a bit at the World Championships."



"I'm just looking forward to getting my Monagasque driver's licence!"


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