7 de jun de 2013

Nico Rosberg Q&A: tyre test played no role in Monaco win

Nico Rosberg had a dream weekend in Monaco, topping every session before winning the classic street race 30 years after his father’s triumph in the Principality. Since then, however, his Mercedes team have been engulfed in the controversy surrounding their Pirelli tyre test just prior to the Monte Carlo round. Did the test play a role in Rosberg’s victory? Will it help Mercedes’ performance in Canada this weekend? An emphatic ‘no’ was the German driver’s answer in Montreal on Thursday, as he spoke exclusively to Formula1.com…

Q: Nico, victory in Monaco was effectively winning your home Grand Prix. How emotional was that, having grown up there and knowing every corner of the place?
Nico Rosberg:
What can I say other than it’s my home - I’ve lived there all my life, so of course it is special, even though that doesn’t mean that I know the track any better than others. For sure I have so many memories from my childhood at so many spots that make up the track…

Q: Can you tell us?
My school was right above the paddock. The window above our hospitality unit - that was my classroom so for many years I looked down to the paddock seeing all the drivers and cars. So winning there was awesome - and even more so as it is the race of the season to win.

Q: Can you talk us through your race?
The start was problematic as I had a pretty bad start - and Sebastian (Vettel) and Lewis (Hamilton) behind me had a very good start. So it was tight to begin with. The next thing was to make the one-stop strategy work. That worked out well. But indeed it was not an easy race, with all the red flags and safety cars which meant quite an effort to keep the tyres up to temperature. That was pretty tricky and also that the rhythm was interrupted all the time.

Q: When did you believe that you would shake the hand of HSH Price Albert as winner?
Ha, I didn’t think of Prince Albert’s hand at all! I was so focused on winning the race that anything that would happen after the chequered flag was secondary.

Q: But it must have been a fantastic moment to take the trophy from him…
…and even having dinner with him in the evening. For somebody who has grown up in Monaco that was really something very special.

Q: So if you could choose one race from the calendar that you would desperately like to win…
…it would be Monaco, no doubt. My father said there are two things to achieve in motorsport: winning Monaco and being world champion. So I can tick one off the list!

Q: How crucial was starting from pole position. Is the saying that Monaco is won on the Saturday really true?
It is very true. If you start from pole you are halfway on the podium. So it is more than crucial - you could say it’s vital.

Q: How did you treat yourself after the win?
Partying until breakfast with family and friends.

Q: There was outcry when news broke that Mercedes did a Pirelli tyre test in between Spain and Monaco with this year’s car…
Was there? Really?

Q: How did you go about that? Was there ever the feeling you were participating in something that wasn’t right?
Oh no, not one single moment. I never expected that there would be discussions afterwards.

Q: Did those 1000-odd test kilometres contribute to the Monaco win?
Definitely not. Pirelli was testing tyres - that has nothing with our race performance in Monaco.

Q: You were with Mercedes long before the recent, significant influx of new staff. Can you tell us what is different?
Well, there have been continuous changes since I joined the team - it is what happens if you build up a team. Sure, Toto (Wolff) and Niki (Lauda) joining is quite a change, but that is what happens if you restructure.

Q: The team was significantly British and now there are two Austrians at the top. Is there a change in mentality?
Success is what changes one’s mentality - and in this respect we have been really blessed so far with many pole positions, the win and the podiums. This has nothing to do with any nationality but with hard work and determination and the will to be successful together.

Q: How about the new guy who sits in the car next to you in the garage? Is that a big change?
Yes, that’s a big, big change. It’s totally different, even though I knew Lewis [Hamilton] pretty well from our times together in go-karts. Michael [Schumacher] and Lewis - this is a completely different pair of shoes in their way of going about things, even if both are addicted to shoes! That is the only real similarity between the two. (laughs)

Q: Can you explain what Toto means when he says that you go about things in a Teutonic - meaning very planned-out - way? Are the pens on your desk all neatly arranged in parallel?
I have a very methodical approach to things and situations. I like to think things over. To use everything there is to my advantage - very rationally planning things down to the smallest detail whenever possible.

Q: Monaco is a slow circuit where preserving tyres is obviously easier - so what about Montreal?
Well, we still do have a tyre problem - that’s our main thing that is holding us back, and that will again be an issue this weekend. It’s a different downforce level here. That might mix things up a bit and shuffle the pecking order. Overtaking is also possible, so you have to be genuinely fast to succeed.

Q: Will you be able to stay within range of the Monaco result? Has the car improved enough to pull it off again?
We have improved a lot on pace. We’ve been the quickest car for quite some time now - so that is hugely positive - but you also have to understand the tyres again and in this respect maybe some are ahead of us.

Q: So give us a number…
Well, the last comparable race to Montreal was Barcelona, as Monaco is a completely different matter…

Q: …so the Barcelona test with Pirelli could have a positive effect?
No definitely not. In terms of result, of course we want to be at the front again - that is the nature of racing - but to make any prediction in terms of positions would be unrealistic. We have to deal with the conditions, not just with our opponents - and the conditions could be really tough. One thing is for sure, after the taste of the Monaco win you want more of that same flavour. 

Fonte: Formula1.com

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