We’re Still Trying To Beat Red Bull, Says Rosberg
Nico Rosberg says he expects to be challenging for victory in India, despite Sebastian Vettel’s recent dominance.
“Well, I’m here to do that; that’s for sure,” said the Mercedes driver. “And the last couple of races have not really gone to plan, a lot of bad luck, also. But, I have a very good car at the moment. I think the Red Bull is a bit quicker than us, but you never know. If we really get everything right on a weekend like here in India, then it’s possible to beat Mark (Webber) and Sebastian (Vettel) in that car. That’s what I’m here to do, so I’ll give it everything and we’ll see.”
Rosberg is a big fan of the Buddh circuit.
“The track is fantastic to drive. They’ve done a really good job with that,” the German said. “There’s a growing fan base and a lot of fans in India. It’s great to be here and it’s a pity that there’s no Indian Grand Prix next year, and I hope that maybe some time in the future we can come back again.
“The track has what it needs to be able to overtake well and for there to be exciting races. They’ve extended the DRS zone a bit to try and make it easier to overtake. We’ll see how that goes. (It) should be in the right direction.”
Meanwhile, Rosberg spent time with some local kids Thursday.
“I’m involved in the Laureas Sport for Good program, so this morning I took a bus journey to the track with a whole bunch of children from the local community,” he said. “In the end just trying to be a little bit of an inspiration to them, to show how good sport is for personal development, really, to learn about discipline and to learn to be with people and respect other people and things like that. Also, to show them the importance of education. That was the aim – but they also had a great time. We had a good time, we played a bit of soccer together, and showed them the racing car. So, that’s good, yeah, a very nice program.”
Ricciardo Stays Focused On 2013 Season
Daniel Ricciardo insists that he is still focused on finishing the year with Toro Rosso – and hasn’t thought about the prospect of going up against a four-time World Champion in 2014.
“Definitely still my main focus is on this year,” said Ricciardo. “Obviously aware of the competition I’ll be up against next year and slowly employing a few things to help me out for January and to settle in with the team but, yeah, still very much focused on the rest of the year with Toro Rosso. I guess once the season’s over after Brazil I’ll make the conversion, start getting in the simulator and trying to figure out what makes Seb (Sebastian Vettel) so quick and try to learn quickly.”
Ricciardo said his life hasn’t changed yet: “I think around the time of the announcement it was pretty hectic with the media and everything, but it’s nicely calmed down now. It’s good. I’m sure once I hop in the car next year it will probably rise again but it’s been a quiet few weeks. I had a bit of time to myself, which is good.”
Mark Webber says he hasn’t changed his approach as the clock ticks down to his final Grand Prix in Brazil next month.
“My mentality hasn’t really changed, from the start of the year,” said Webber. “Still enjoying driving the car to a degree and no exception to that. The last Grand Prix, obviously the best racing track in the world in Suzuka – unfortunately they can’t design them like that any more – but it’s a beautiful circuit. This is not bad and [there are] some good tracks to look forward to. That’s the bit that I still enjoy – to a degree. I think the last four is not really changing how I go about it. It would be nice to get a top result before the year’s out, but it’ll be four weeks and that’s it.”
Webber said it was hard to predict how the Pirellis will behave this weekend.
“Very difficult to predict how the tires will behave. We know how sensitive they are. Even when we had the slight change of construction during the year we see some teams coming forward, some teams going back, some drivers being happy, some drivers less happy. The tires are super sensitive. Last year was quite easy on the tires. We had a pretty comfortable one stop. Whether that’s possible again, I’m not sure. We will find out on Friday with the long runs, maybe.”
Meanwhile he said that he’s still frustrated at how the Japanese GP unfolded, although he admitted he hadn’t looked into it.
“I haven’t gone over any data whatsoever from the last race. I still stand by what I said at the time but obviously a bit surprised that we elected to do that. Having a three stop, you’ve got to pass two cars to win the race instead of maybe sticking to a two where we just focused on trying to beat Romain. What I said at the time is still pretty accurate today.”