interview with Nico Rosberg

Last week, had a quick chat up Formula One driver Nico Rosberg after he LOST the final of the PUMA Race Off challenge to Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero…

What have you been doing at Donington Park with Sergio Agüero?

I’ve been here at Donington Park with Sergio Agüero for the final part of PUMA Race Off, which was a challenge I set to a number of sportsmen to see who could drive the fastest lap of Monza in a MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One simulator. Sergio Agüero won the challenge and his prize was to drive on a real circuit in a real race car, and I also got to show him how it’s really done! I’m not sure what he expected but he certainly got a real race car experience!

Was Aguero a worthy winner of your Race Off challenge?

Yes, Sergio was definitely a good winner of my Race Off challenge.  He set a very impressive lap time at Monza, a circuit that has some real challenges.  And his control of the car, the way he picked his braking points and racing lines all contributed to his lap time which is a lot quicker than I thought anyone would go. So fair play to him.

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Do you think he could drive a F1 car for real?

Well I know Sergio thinks he could drive an F1 car for real.  But he showed some talent in the simulator not just with the fastest lap that he set but with the consistency of his laps so he clearly has a strong driving instinct.  And while an AMG car is different to a F1 car, today I could see he knows how to handle a racing car for real.  I wouldn’t tell him this to his face, but he’s got some talent.

How did Sergio do today on the track?

Sergio was pretty impressive on the track.  I tried to teach him some basics, but he wasn’t really interested in that so I let him get on with it and he got quicker and quicker with every lap he was doing.  He’s got an aptitude for racing there’s no doubt.  I kind of think he thinks he would be as quick as me though, so I really enjoyed scaring him in the DTM car.  A little lesson for him there that while he’s fast, he’s not as fast as me!

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Do you think Sergio enjoyed the experience today? It must have been entertaining to see his reaction after the DTM passenger ride!

It was a really fun day and I especially enjoy bringing fellow athletes into my world and showing them how it’s really done! When Sergio got out of the DTM his reaction was brilliant and I don’t think he expected that feeling when he got out the car. Racing is a full workout, even when you’re in a DTM car as a passenger!

Do you think there are transferrable skills with regard to football and motor racing?

Well for sure hand/foot eye coordination is a big requirement for both sports.  Without this, you will not be very successful in either sport, so I think people who are good at football might have an aptitude for driving.  Of course motor racing is much more difficult, so it is probably easier for an F1 driver to play football well than it is for a footballer to drive a racing car quickly (laughs).

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How about your football skills? We’ve seen you kicking the ball around a bit today, do you think you could be a challenge to Sergio?

I’m okay at football but I’m not going to challenge Agüero, I’m not that talented! It’s more about the enjoyment for me. I used to play a lot when I was young, but not so much now. I do play quite often with my physio though, it’s a great way of warming up before I race

It’s all change for the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS F1 team next year with the arrival of Lewis Hamilton, how are you feeling about next season?

I am feeling very positive about next season and looking forward to Lewis joining the team. We’ve known each other for years and have shared many great experiences from our go-carting days. As teenagers we always wondered if one day we would race together in F1 as team mates, and now it’s going to happen. I’m sure it will be an interesting season.

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Do you feel that your win in China was lucky, given the team’s performances in recent Grand Prix?

No, it wasn’t lucky.  As a team, we have made some big strides forward this year – in China we were the quickest car throughout the whole weekend, and in Monaco also we finished second to claim our second podium this year.  So we have been very competitive.  It is true that in recent races we have not been so quick, but as a team we have big hopes for 2013 and bringing more success. 

Do you like Rosberg’s style of driving? How do you see the F1 season panning out next year? Let us know via the comments section below or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.

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