Rosberg: I lead the championship and I plan to keep it that way

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Nico Rosberg recovered from a bad start to finish second in the Chinese Grand Prix behind his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton, and the result sees him hang on to his championship points lead heading to the European stanza of the championship where he intends to stay at the top of the table. He reflected on his day’s work in Shanghai.

You still lead the Formula 1 World Championship so some consolation in that respect?
Nico Rosberg: Yeah, definitely. That’s there. I’m not going to use the word still because I plan to keep it that way. Definitely in the lead and that’s good. Especially considering that the whole weekend was really, really bad for me. It went completely wrong in so many different respects. Also, in the race we had no telemetry so there was no communication between the car and the pits, so they had no idea what was going on on track and that’s why the start was also so bad and a lot of things came together. So I’m pleased with second and I just look forward to a normal weekend again in Barcelona, full attack again.

Yeah it was a bad start. Take us through that first corner when you had contact with Valtteri Bottas in the Williams..?
NR: It was just very close, there were cars all over the place. Just had a bit of contract there and it was great that my car held on.

Then you had to make your way back through the field. You had a little bit of fun coming through?
NR: It’s really a pleasure to drive this car at the moment. It’s incredible the car that the team has built – fantastic. So thanks to the whole team. And Mercedes. This thing is so quick. It really increases the enjoyment level even further.

You said so many things went wrong. What was your set-up like from Friday FP2 though to the race itself?
NR: It was all OK. Set-up-wise it was a good team effort this weekend. Because it’s a very unique track here with the understeer being the main problem and the front-left tyre, so you really have to change everything, adapt to the needs of the track and we did well as a team. It wasn’t perfect in the race but it was definitely…pretty good.

As you played catch-up from the start you could really see what your strengths were in comparison to other cars.
NR: Yeah, definitely. We have the best car, y’know, and that makes it more enjoyable then to do catch-up, even though of course don’t want to do any catch-up – but I was back there so then catching up was nice with this fast car. It’s a good weapon.

Then we heard you not entirely happy giving a fuel report every lap.
NR: No! My telemetry failed, yeah? So I was completely on my own out there. The team then never…doesn’t see any information from the car, so they have nothing to do. Er…they do have things to do! So I had to do all the things on my own out there and, for example, it was then telling the team what my fuel level is so that they could judge if I was using too much fuel or if I’m safe – and I had to do that in Turn One y’know and Turn One is a difficult corner anyways, so yeah, didn’t enjoy that point.

When you said that you had to report your fuel consumption or fuel level to the pit lane every lap, why is that? Wouldn’t it be easier that you saw on the dashboard a plus or minus and then you could drive on your own rather than talking to your pits?
NR: Yeah, you’re right. Just that I didn’t have that function, probably because we don’t really need that normally. It’s fine like that, it’s just reporting once in a while to the paddock. It wasn’t every lap, you know, it was just once in a while so they can put a few dots and see where it’s going. That’s it. So that wasn’t a problem at all, it was just that I didn’t like where I had to do it because it was in turn one and that was not good.

All the other teams have set their sights on the Barcelona race as their best chance to improve their performance with the novelties on their cars, so how confident is Mercedes that the things you’re going to bring to Barcelona will keep the gap or maybe even extend the gap you have to the other teams?
NR: Hopefully, more than all the other teams; we want to go to Barcelona with the biggest step, that’s our ambition. Barcelona is a chance for us to extend the advantage that we have and that’s the approach that we have going to Barcelona, 100 percent.