Q: Well done Nico you’re nice and wet. I don’t want to force anything but maybe you could do the handshake again. There you go, there’s the love. Nico, just another day at the office?
NR: Hell, no! That was definitely not the most enjoyable race I’ve ever had. With Max in the beginning and then with those guys coming up in the end, really not very enjoyable those last few laps. Very, very glad it’s over and unbelievably ecstatic. What do you call it when you give the win to my wife, to you (Vivian), amazing, thank you for all the support and to our daughter Alaϊa…
Q: I can see the tears and we understand why. We do have to wait until a week on Friday until you are announced as champion but this time 34 years ago this was a similar time for the Rosberg family?
NR: Yeah, very, very proud to have done the same feat as my dad achieved, he’s going to be coming in about half an hour I think, so it will be exciting to see him.
Q: Well, congratulations on this victory. You’re holding it but you want to unleash those tears don’t you?
NR: No, it’s OK. I also want to say congrats to Lewis, you did a great season, great competitor, massively quick always. Congrats, always tough to beat you. Guys, at the team Mercedes, please put the music on, I’m coming down in one second. And my mom, I’m really looking forward to seeing her, she’s going to be coming with dad in a second, so whole family together it’s going to be wonderful.
Q: Obviously a critical point in the race for you was the overtake on Max Verstappen. You were told by your engineer it was critical to pass him and it was very, very close. A heart in the mouth moment for you?
NR: For sure. The feelings out there in that battle with Max… unreal, really unreal. I hope I don’t experience that again any time soon. And the same again at the end, you know: pressure on from behind, Lewis driving slow at the front. It was a tough one.
Q: You’ve had your emotions and your whole psychology so locked down, you’ve talked about going one race at a time. Now it’s all over, what was it like? Really, on the inside, mentally?
NR: It’s crazy. The thing is it was so intense – the race – it’s still going to take some time I think to settle it and come out because it was really intense out there and so tough in the end. Those last couple of laps with those two guys behind. If I dropped being them it’s over so not enjoyable.
QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR
Q: On Thursday Lewis said that the last night of 2014 was awful for him and he didn’t sleep. How was that weekend for you and how did you live with all that pressure?
NR: If it’s OK maybe you can understand that maybe I wasn’t completely transparent the whole weekend. Of course I need protect myself a little bit also from your world which is pretty intense, the world media world. So yes it was a very, very tough weekend for me. Many moments not so enjoyable of course, like especially the race, for example. Very, very tough with Verstappen in the beginning there and then in the end of course. Not nice!
Q: Nico, did you sleep last night?
NR: I managed to get a few hours in, yeah. I didn’t know what to expect but it worked out OK, yes.
Q: Nico, do you think that one of your biggest achievements if not your biggest achievement this year was your mental strength, your focus? You don’t seem to have been distracted by pretty much almost anything this season, even when there were incidents earlier in the season you seem to have managed to keep your focus. Would you say that’s your biggest achievement alongside your title?
NR: For sure it’s a key ingredient, yeah, to why I’m here now. It’s continual, yeah, it’s just my approach that I’ve taken from myself. Everybody does his own way; for me that feels best and I’ve really learned to focus hard. It takes a lot of sacrifice also to stay so focused during a whole year. For sure that helped, yeah.
Q: Your father’s obviously been in the background. He hasn’t been seen in the last few days but hasn’t been seen either for the last few months. What’s been the level of involvement with your father? Are there any words of wisdom or has he really been at arm’s length over the few weeks and months and days as well?
NR: Every Saturday night I get a message from him and most of the time it’s like ‘pedal to the metal tomorrow, full stop, exclamation mark.’ So that’s his words of advice every weekend. But my Dad and my Mum both have such a big part in this, my Mum on the private side of course and my Dad for the career steps and all the support all the way. It was massive. I think it’s been good how’s he’s let me get on with it and taken a step back. I think it’s been very very good and it’s worked well for us and for me, it feels right, so I’m very very thankful for that. It’s his way of stepping back a bit for sure.
Q: What will change in your life after winning today?
NR: OK, that’s a question. I’m sure it’s going to be pretty crazy now for the next few days but I look forward to all that, it’s going to be special. Tonight is going to go absolutely nuts, I mean tonight is going to be insane. I think I’m going to be not available for a few days after that and... I don’t know.
Q: Sometimes attack is the best form of defence; once you realised what games Lewis was playing, did you ever think about attacking him or vice versa, in the end, using Sebastian Vettel to put pressure on him, by letting Vettel past?
NR: Lewis was using all his skill to do it perfectly, so there was absolutely no way for me to manage to get by, so of course I thought about it but it was just pointless so there was no way. He did it in a very good way, in a perfect way.
Q: You had a really strong inter last season, you won here 12 months ago and you won the last few races and the last six pole positions of the season. How important was that strong inter-season after a difficult earlier time in the year, to building to this season? Did it play a part, was it important to have a good winter?
NR: For sure that was a big turning point, it was Austin, because Austin was a horrible experience for me and I really spent two days just on my own thinking and I said I didn’t ever want to experience that again and then I went and won the next seven races on the trot, so for sure it was a big moment for me and one of the key moments for being here today.
Q: Nico, do you think you can use number one next year or are you going to carry on with the family number six?
NR: I have no idea. I love number six of course, my Dad won the World Championship with number six as well, so it’s a very lucky number for us. Don’t know, that’s it.
Q: Nico, what’s the flight home going to be like and what do you have planned for the off-season?
NR: I’m going to Malaysia for Petronas to celebrate there with them, so that’s the first flight and then I just want to spend as much time with my family as possible. But it’s going to be completely crazy, it’s going to go all over the place now but that’s a part of it and I look forward to that. I’m making the most of this moment.
Q: You beat Lewis and he’s considered one of the best in the history of Formula One and the numbers prove that. What does this mean for you, also considering the history you have with him?
NR: Yeah, for sure, it feels like I’ve been racing him for ever and always he’s just managed to edge me out and get the title even when we were small in go-karts. And he’s just an amazing driver and of course one of the best in history so it’s unbelievably special to beat him because the level is so high and that makes this even more... for sure, so much more satisfying for me because the benchmark is so... and I took the World Championship away from him which is a phenomenal feeling. It’s been a great year as well, for sure he drove at an extremely high level, he’s done some incredible racing so he’s been a very very tough competitor and I don’t know how many points we are apart at the end, you know, five points, which is unbelievable. With the same car.
Q: Given the circumstances and the pressure you were under, do you consider that pass on Max that you did, wheel-to-wheel going through two corners together, one of the best of your career?
NR: Yeah, for sure, yeah, it was great, definitely a great one. Fair play to him, also. He went full-on aggressive of course, he didn’t given an inch, as usual but fair play, we didn’t collide and I got by, so that felt amazingly good. It was an awesome feeling at the time, really, very relieving and so intense, unbelievably intense really, in the car. I’ve never felt something like that in the car before.
Q: Nico, Alain Prost was saying that you haven’t been given the credit you deserve as a driver. Do you agree with that and think that now you will be seen in a different light?
NR: I don’t drive for credit, I drive to win the World Championship and I have achieved that and it was my childhood dream to win the World Championship and that’s done and that’s what I’m excited about and I look forward to celebrating with all the people who have been supporting me.