Rosberg realistic about his goals in Formula One's 'fourth-fastest' car
In shiny black pointed shoes and with his blond hair slicked back, AT&T Williams driver Nico Rosberg assessed the performance of one of the men driving a modified F1 simulator.
'Yes, that would be a very bad crash,' Rosberg said into a microphone, as he stood over the man's shoulder, unobtrusively but still very much present.
Rosberg, who will be in Shanghai today for this weekend's Chinese Grand Prix, spent yesterday afternoon at Pacific Place evaluating simulator lap times as part of a RBS Grand Prix Challenge. The three fastest drivers will pit their skills against each other on Sunday, with the champion winning a trip to Spain next month where he/she will compete in a real car on a real racetrack.
With McLaren and Ferrari dominating the headlines - and with the Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton melodrama intensifying daily - it was little surprise shoppers were stopping publicists to ask the German's name. Even those who were aware of Rosberg couldn't get McLaren off their minds.
'Who's going to take the championship,' was the first question asked.
'Hamilton,' Rosberg answered without hesitation.
Rosberg, who is in ninth place in the drivers' championship, is already looking to next season. 'This year is more or less done,' Rosberg said. 'I'm looking a lot to next year because I really want to make another big jump together with the team for next year. That's really important.'
His statement on the future was innocuous enough, save for the key words - 'with the team'. As of late, and with speculation on Alonso's future at McLaren, Rosberg's name has been tossed about (as has Jenson Button's) as a possible replacement.
'I have a contract with Williams for next year so that's it,' Rosberg said. 'I'm very happy where I am. It's going well.'
But as the hypothetical offered no harm, Rosberg also said: 'I was teammates with [Hamilton] in go-karts so one day I wouldn't mind - it would be nice to be teammates again one day.'
Rosberg's season, in which he has accumulated 15 points, has been an improvement over his rookie season, when, with four points, he finished 17th in the championship.
Before retiring with an electronics problem from last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix, Rosberg had strung together a series of four sixth- and seventh-place finishes.
'At the moment, we have the fourth-quickest car so at best you can finish seventh or eighth and if someone falls out in the front you can maybe get sixth,' Rosberg said.