Mercedes driver and current championship leader Nico Rosberg took part in this afternoon’s official press conference ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.
The Mercedes team can wrap up the constructors championship here this weekend, however the driver’s battle between Nico and his teammate Lewis Hamilton, is expected to rumble on until the season finale in Abu Dhabi.
Here Nico answers questions about the coming weekend and what a strong result would mean to both him and the team at the home event of major sponsor Petronas…
Nico, Mercedes can wrap up its third consecutive Constructors’ Championship this weekend. How does this year compare from the team’s point of view to the two previous ones. What’s stood out for you about this year?
It’s been another incredible year really. Every time we think it can never repeat itself and be as good as that again, and yet we manage to do it again. And this year as well now, so early in the season we have the opportunity to clinch the Constructors’ Championship, which is phenomenal. Everybody’s done an unbelievable job. Very impressive.
It’s an open secret that the Mercedes team feel that your qualifying lap in Singapore is the best that you’ve driven since you’ve been with them – and Toto Wolff said it was the most complete, I think, performance he’d seen from you across the whole race weekend. What can you take out of that Singapore weekend that will make you a consistently strong competitor to the end of the season?
I don’t need to take anything from the Singapore weekend. It was a great result, great weekend and all, so I’m very happy about that, but now it’s in the past. Now I’m here in Sepang and ready to go. Of course I believe that I have a great chance to win here as well. Just going to try to go for that.
Nico, you are all the time insisting that you are not thinking about the championship. How can you avoid it when you are leading the championship?
It’s not that I don’t think about it – I’m aware of the situation, I’m aware of the points and whatever else – that’s fine but I try and focus on the race weekend I have in front of me because that’s been working really well for me to do that and not think about anything else. That’s it. I want to win here in Sepang and I’m going to go for that.
You guys leave no stone unturned in trying to beat each other – just out of interest, does that extend to things like the event you and Lewis were doing at the mall the other day? Are there silly little games that go on? Do you try and unsettle each other, nobble each other, anything like that?
It’s not quite that extreme, that we’d be doing stuff at the mall, no. It’s not. But yes, for sure, we’ll be pushing each other very hard on the race track and even off the race track in many different areas, yeah, definitely. It’s a great battle and everything counts.
How will the new tarmac affect your way of driving during the Grand Prix?
It will be a big challenge because it will be very different and we all need to adapt to the new asphalt, which we don’t know how it’s going to handle here.
What is your best Sepang memory?
Just the track which is a really cool track to drive on. That’s it.