Mercedes Grand Prix duo Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher have revealed that they are in 'confident mood' and 'fighting spirit' ahead of this weekend's penultimate round of the F1 2010 World Championship campaign at Interlagos – and determined to maintain the Brackley-based outfit's positive recent run of form.
Despite impressive third row starting positions in both Japan and Korea, Rosberg has failed to score in the last two outings, being scuppered by an errant rear wheel whilst lying seventh at Suzuka, and finding himself helplessly harpooned by the spinning Red Bull of Mark Webber on only the second racing lap in Yeongam County just over a week ago, shortly after passing McLaren-Mercedes rival Lewis Hamilton for fourth place.
The first time all season that the young German has gone two consecutive races without tallying any points, Rosberg is eager to stop the rot in the Brazilian Grand Prix – around a popular, atmospheric and anti-clockwise circuit at which he has previously taken the chequered flag fourth.
“The Brazilian fans are always fantastic, and Interlagos is a really fun track to drive so I'm looking forward to the weekend in São Paulo,” the 25-year-old affirmed. “The combination of the tight infield and the long straight make the track layout very unique.
“The fact that Interlagos is at a very high-altitude level means the engine has less power due to the thinner air, and the car has less grip and lower downforce which is a challenge. There are good overtaking opportunities, and the weather always seems to play a part over the race weekend to make it more unpredictable.
“It was disappointing not to finish the race in Korea from such a strong position, but our performance over the weekend was good and we were able to get the most out of the car. It would be nice to continue this and finish the season with strong performances.”
Those sentiments are corroborated by older compatriot Schumacher, who conversely enjoyed two of his finest races of his comeback campaign in Japan and Korea, with a competitive sixth place in the former and a fighting fourth in the latter, on both occasions looking just about the feistiest that he has done all year. What's more, the record-breaking multiple F1 World Champion is a four-time previous-winner at Interlagos – leaving him optimistic about his prospects in what will be his 16th Brazilian Grand Prix.
“The season is coming to an end, and I have to say that I am very impressed with how our guys have coped with it, especially in the last few 'flyaway' races,” the 41-year-old mused. “Even though we have not had any big developments recently, we have still delivered promising performances.
“The characteristics of the Interlagos circuit are not too far away from those of the last races, so we can go to Brazil in quite a confident mood. Our fighting spirit is good and we would like to finish the season in a positive way, so I am looking forward to going to São Paulo and hopefully achieving another result that I can be happy with.”