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Q&A about the 2015 season with Lewis, Nico and Toto

Q&A about the 2015 season with Lewis, Nico and Toto

Has the opposition got closer to you over the winter?

Toto Wolff: So far, we've only had testing. You can see that we've done a solid job, so to speak. The car was fast and reliable. We saw that Ferrari have made progress. If you look at the data, you can see that they are in touch but it all depends on how much fuel they had on board. Then we have the usual suspects: Williams looked good. One should not write off Red Bull either, although they did not really shine in the tests.

Lewis Hamilton: So far, there have been no real surprises. Ferrari looked very strong. It will be interesting to see how they fare this weekend.

Nico Rosberg: We're keeping a close eye on the competition. We know that they are strong, but we believe in ourselves and we have a formidable team. It's probably fair to say that we are currently the best team in Formula 1. We are the team to beat. But the other teams have pushed hard and have made enormous progress. Now we have to wait and see where we stand on Saturday, but we are confident.

People are already discussing whether it's a good thing for Formula 1 when a team can win races with a 30-second lead?

Toto Wolff: All three of us [Lewis, Nico and Toto] are paid to be one step ahead of the competition, to have the fastest car and drive it as fast as possible. Of course, we are also responsible for F1, but I wish we had that problem this year. We had a very good car last year, but there was not a single race in which we thought about bluffing or not driving at the maximum. Reliability is still an important issue. It's not realistic to assume that we will have a one-second lead and drive to a comfortable win. That will not happen.

What have you learned from last year?

Nico Rosberg: It was a great fight and I'm sure that it will continue. It's a big challenge for both of us, especially given the fact that it's happening within a team. It would certainly be more straightforward if we were in different teams. It's more difficult in a team, because you always have this big compromise to make - you have to put the team first and yourself second. It's a huge challenge, especially at the beginning of the season. There will be ups and downs, easy times and difficult patches. It's only natural. I'm confident that we'll have another terrific season.

Lewis Hamilton: I expect a similar season to last year.

Nico, Lewis won more races than you in 2014, but you achieved more pole positions. Is that set to continue?

Nico Rosberg: The goal is to maintain my performance in qualifying just as it has always been. It's an important base for me to build on. It gives me a lot of hope. After that, I just have to improve a little in the races. Fortunately, success and failure are very short-lived. I returned relatively quickly to normal life, so it had no effect. It was great to see. Still, it was an experience that really motivates me for this year. I had odd patches of success last year and want to turn things around this year. My dream is to become Formula 1 World Champion and I have a chance to achieve that this season.

Lewis, are you confident that you can be better than Nico this year?

Lewis Hamilton: I'll worry about that on Friday when I get in the car, and then I'll see how things go race by race. I can't say exactly, but I don't intend being worse.

Will you approach your title defence differently this year as compared to 2009 after your first title win?

Lewis Hamilton: I can't remember exactly what I thought in 2009 when I drove the car for the first time, but it was certainly nothing great. I definitely feel much better this year, but it's another chapter in my life. I'm very excited about the races and am sure that I will have an opportunity to fight again for what I had in 2014.

In Jerez, you said that you still need an extra one or two percent to catch Lewis. Where exactly will you find these couple of a percent?

Nico Rosberg: I don't remember saying that. The fact is that Lewis was a bit stronger last year. He's worked on himself in the winter, as I have done. I need to find a bit more and have pushed hard to do that. I've not yet peaked. I'm 29 and still have some way to go and can improve. I hope to do that. It's about the whole package. Life as a Formula 1 driver is so diverse. It's not just about driving and about turning the steering wheel in the right direction. It's also important to be fit outside the car, to have every aspect of life under control so that you have the right focus to work with the team, to understand the car's engineering and technology. It's all part and parcel of the whole.

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