Nico Rosberg said today that he’s happy to welcome his former karting team mate Lewis Hamilton as his new partner at Mercedes, and insists that he has no problem with having a quick driver in the other car.
Rosberg was keen to point out that he’s faced a similarly tough challenge over the past three seasons.
“At the moment my team is a seven-time World Champion, so the talent I’m up against is very high!,” said the German. “So I think it’s going to be a similarly difficult challenge, and very interesting, and for me very exciting. It’s been a good challenge over the last three years with Michael, and I’m looking forward to the challenge with Lewis.
“I remember racing him in go-karts, so I know it’s very tough up against him, he’s very quick, one of the best out there at the moment. It’ll be good and it’s great that he’s joining the team.”
Asked about to compare the battle with his present and future team mates, he said: “I think it’s going to be similarly difficult, similarly challenging, similarly interesting. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of differences, but what exactly, I’ll tell you more next year.
“I look forward to it, because I enjoy these sorts of challenges. That’s good, it’s good for me, it’s good for the team, it’s good for everybody. I’m generally very confident that I will do a good job – that was my approach with Michael too. I’m confident that I will do well, and I’m pushing hard to do well. How I compare with my team mate remains to be seen. I’m not worried or anything as such.”
Rosberg said he had talked to Lewis before the deal was signed.
“We spoke about it a little bit before, that the possibility was there, and we were laughing about it. We spoke about it when we were 14 years old in go-karts, ‘Imagine one day we’re team mates in F1, how cool would that be?’ And now all of a sudden it’s happening, which is quite unreal.”
Having moved to Mercedes after a long spell with Williams he agreed that changing teams can be a boost.
“I know from my change, that it was a very, very good thing for me also to get into a new environment. It opened my eyes a bit as well, because you get into a certain routine and habit, and a change is good. For me personally it was a good thing for me to chance team, for my development as a driver, a person, everything.”