It`s a challenge to race against Schumacher: Roseberg
Greater Noida: For Mercedes` Nico Roseberg, racing against teammate and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher is always a huge "challenge", but the young German is delighted to have pipped his illustrious countrymate so far in the 2011 Formula One season.
With just three races to go in the calender, Roseberg, who is lying at the seventh spot, leads Schumacher by just a place, and the 26-year-old driver expressed his desire to continue his domination over the legendary German in the remaining stops of F1 caravan, starting with the inaugural Indian GP here on October 30.
"It is an exciting experience to be his (Schumacher`s) teammate but it is a great challenge to race against him. I am happy with my result in this season so far because until now I managed to stay ahead of him. I hope to continue the same (in the remaining races)," Roseberg said during a promotional event of insurance giant Bajaj Allianz.
He also said that Schumacher`s success played a huge role in raising the profile of motorsport in Germany, a country which has continuously produced some great drivers.
"The biggest change (in Germany) happened since Schumacher. He made the sport hue in Germany. After his success money started to pour in, lot of companies started showing interest, which is great for young drivers," he said.
Asked about the rivalry between F1 drivers, he said, "There is big rivalry because everyone wants to be No. 1 and that makes the sport exciting.
"Your teammate is the first guy you would look to beat. But there is very healthy competition in our team."
With 127 points in its kitty, Mercedes is presently lying fourth in the drivers` standings. But with three races to go, the Brackley-based team is facing tough competition from Renault, which is on 72 points. "(Going into a race) there is huge pressure. There is pressure from the team, from the sponsors. There is also pressure from yourself to do well," Roseberg said. This year we can`t (finish among top 3 teams) but next year we will be further up," he insisted.
Although he did not get the opportunity to visit the Buddh International Circuit till now, not even in simulator, Roseberg is expecting a great weekend ahead.
"It will be very exciting, you don`t know what to expect. But it looks to be a great track. There has been a lot of overtaking this year and I am sure there will be lot of overtaking here," Roseberg said.
With the recent deaths of Indycar driver Dan Wheldon and MotoGP racer Marco Simoncelli, which raised serious doubts about improving safety standard of motorsports, Roseberg felt it is an area which cannot be comprised upon.
Under the umbrella of Grand Prix Drivers` Association, they are constantly working to make F1 a safer sport.
"Everyday we are pushing ourselves to improve safety. The FIA has put in a lot of investments (towards safety). The Grand Prix Drivers Association also met every Friday during a race and discuss what new measures need to be taken and then we push the FIA," Roseberg said.
"Massive steps have already been taken to make the sport safer. While driving one thing which is always in our mind is not to go beyond the limit. What drives the sport is the excitement of watching the fastest car and the duel between drivers, but not going beyond," he added.
Former F1 driver and presently a commentator, Dan Christian also stressed on the need to make continuous improvement in safety measures.
"The laws pf physics doesn`t change for a F1 car and a road car but we should always continue to increase safety in a sport.
"I came from an era when F1 was not safe at all and safety standards were miles away from what it is today. We need to talk about safety all the time. We just can`t rely on a strong FIA," Christian stressed.