Rosberg: 'It's a mess. Where the hell are we going?'

Nico Rosberg tells David Tremayne about his father's rivalry and his fears for F1's future

Sixty grands prix into his F1 career this weekend, Nico Rosberg is a long way from emulating the success of his illustrious parent Keke, Finland's first world champion.

The balance sheet shows only two podiums, a second place in Singapore and a third in Australia, both last year. But "Britney", as he is known by his mechanics, insists that he is not yet getting impatient. "I didn't know how many races I've done," he muses. "It's quite amazing, really, to already have sixty grands prix. But no, I am not at all feeling frustrated. I think this year we've really made a big jump forward, big progress with respect to last year. I'm just living in the moment.

"We have a car to score points every race, not a lot of teams can say that. I'm just trying to get the best out of it. When you score points, generally there's a positive feeling in the team that we are up there." He further insists – and it sounds genuine no matter how unlikely it might seem – that he is content with a car capable of finishing only sixth or seventh.

"Yeah, I'm happy. Of course in the future I'd like to be up there fighting for victories, podiums. The time will come, you just have to be patient."

It's a mature attitude for a young driver, though some might think it smacks of a lack of "tiger", that burning desire to win whatever.

The way things are, with Williams currently the only FOTA team to enter the 2010 FIA Formula One World Championship under the exact terms laid down by dictatorial FIA president Max Mosley, Rosberg might even find himself in the pound seats if he stays there next year. But current speculation connects him with the second seat at McLaren, alongside his old karting and Formula Three sparring partner Lewis Hamilton.

"One mustn't forget I'm 23 years-old, so I still have a long way to go, I'm very young. I just need to keep on performing well, which I'm doing. Jenson is a very good example. It's a great sport to be in, but you've got to be patient; a lot of people deserve a good car but not everybody can have one." He says he would have no qualms about teaming up with Hamilton. "McLaren are a great team and Lewis and I have known each other for a long time, so I guess, yeah. I know how I compared to him and it's good to see what he is able to do. I'm not worried about going up against Lewis. It's one of the things in my head, but right now it's such a big mess out there, where the hell are we going? Unbelievable! But Williams are also a big option for me and we are in discussions."

It's clear that the politics do not affect his outlook. "I notice the situation and follow it with interest, but not much more than that. I hope that we will come out on the other side and everyone will agree and we'll go racing again next year. That would be nice. It has nothing to do with me – well, it will have eventually – but I'm very optimistic."

The other guy he has always rated is his father. "I love watching the old races and reading the old stuff, but I'm not aware of it day to day that I'm sitting in the same team as my dad." But he has driven a car from Keke's turbo era. "Most amazing! I'd love to take it to the limit, but that would be too dangerous. I always knew my dad was a hero so it didn't make a difference to my feelings on that when I drove it."

Rosberg Snr, affectionately known as "Alcopop" in the paddock, was the master of sideways motoring. "I bet he wouldn't have lit up a Malboro on the grid if he'd had to go through Turn Eight," somebody suggests, referring to Istanbul Park's infamous corner, but Rosberg Jnr laughs. "I bet he would have! But that wouldn't work today with all the sponsors."

Father and son have not really competed with each other, but Nico says he'd like to race his father on ice. "I'd really love to do it before he gets too old," he smirks. "He's done it for 10 years on the Arctic Rally in Lapland, so I'd really like to give it a go against him."

Then he remembers that they drove together in karts, when he was 12. "He was my hero. I thought, you know, he was going to be a second quicker or something. I was so disappointed!" He bursts into laughter. "I've never seen someone so hopeless on a go-kart! It was an absolute disaster."

It's far too good a tale not to run by Rosberg Snr. The famous moustache bristles as he chortles an immediate response. "Yes, that's true, but did he tell you that he cried because his illusions of his father were shattered?"

My other life

"My passions at the moment are soccer [I support Bayern Munich], photography and poker. Those are my three big passions at the moment. Without being arrogant, I'm actually very good at poker. I've won two out of two of the televised drivers' championships, but I don't like playing for big money. Hundreds are no problem, but as soon as it goes to thousands, it's not for me any more."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform