Nico: “I arrive here very optimistic”

Nico: “I arrive here very optimistic”

Q: Monaco last year seemed to be a turning point in your championship challenge and this season seems to be shaping up the same way. Is that your impression?

NR: I don’t know. I don’t think so much about the past or things like that. For me it’s now. Lately, yeah, it’s been going OK. Of course, Canada not so much – I lost out there. But I’m feeling good and it’s great to be here. I won here last year, so I arrive here very optimistic. We have a great car, so it should be a great weekend.

Q: Lewis recently said he’s feeling much happier with the 2015 car than he was with the 2014 car. What’s your impression?

NR: Pretty much the same. It’s very similar, you know, because not much has changed in the regulations, so it’s just on-going development. It’s very similar.

Q: We have been hearing a lot about lift and coast since Canada. The team also issued a press release explaining what lift and coast was stating that, from a driving point of view, it’s not easy to do because you have to find a different braking point thanks to the different speed at which you arrive at a corner. As a driver, can you shed some light on how difficult it is to perform lift and coast and to find your braking point?

NR: Well, lift and coast is the most efficient way to save fuel and they did it even in the 80s. I remember my dad racing with Alain Prost at McLaren and they had to save fuel because everybody was running at the end of the race, so nothing has changed there. It’s just that it’s become more professional now – more accurate and more detailed. That doesn’t mean we’re backing off. Even if we’re doing lift and coast, we’re still driving at the absolute limit of the car. It’s just a different kind of driving style – and that driving style is very challenging. You’re still pushing like crazy – you’re just driving a different way.

Q: Nico Hülkenberg put in a great performance at Le Mans last weekend. Have you considered racing there?

NR: No, not really. At the moment I’m pretty focussed on this year so I haven’t thought about that.

Q: How much attention do you pay to the history of Mercedes as a car manufacturer and are you interested in vintage cars? Would you like to try some of these in the near future?

NR: Absolutely, I’m very interested in the history. I like to watch the videos and read the books and everything. I’m really into vintage cars also – a big fan. Yesterday I actually drove a 300SL roadster from Stuttgart all the way to Schaffhausen in Switzerland with our partners IWC which was awesome. It was such an incredible experience to drive those old cars and to see how advanced they already were back in those days. I always like driving them.

Q: Who do you think could be the next German driver in Formula One? It seems that right now German juniors are not really represented in the feeder series. Mick Schumacher is one who seems to be coming through maybe? Are there also other names?

NR: Pascal Wehrlein, our reserve driver! He’s surely the best candidate!

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