Mercedes F1 driver Nico Rosberg at an autograph signing session with his team-mate Lewis Hamilton (partly hidden) at KLCC on Wednesday. - SHAARI CHEMAT/ The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Early Formula One championship leader Nico Rosberg is excited to be back at the Sepang International Circuit for the Petronas Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix this weekend.
The Mercedes driver romped to victory by a comfortable margin of 24.5 seconds in the opening round in Melbourne two weeks ago but he will not be satisfied until Mercedes finds better reliability.
Rosberg, who started third from the grid, has his concerns as he benefited from pole-sitter and team-mate Lewis Hamilton’s first-lap retirement due to technical issues with the car.
“Australia was the perfect start to my season but it also pointed out that we’re not 100% there yet in terms of reliability.
“We’ve had two weeks before this race to identify everything that we can do better, so hopefully, we can bring both cars home for a good result this weekend and continue our strong start to the year.
“I am not getting excited yet as the season is still long. The team are not going to be sleeping, they are going to push very hard,” he said.
The 28-year-old German, who currently has four wins under his belt, is looking forward to racing in Sepang.
Rosberg holds Sepang in high esteem and it is not surprising.
“Sepang holds some great memories for me too as I achieved my first podium for Mercedes here at the start of the 2010 season and coming straight after one of my personal favourites at Albert Park, is another circuit that I really enjoy.
“The track layout is great to drive and has a bit of everything thrown in – long straights, fast corners, hairpin turns and good places to overtake,” added Rosberg, who feels the weather also poses a challenge.
“The weather is always a factor with big chances of rain at least once per day. In the past few years, this has usually happened in either qualifying or the race.
“Of course, it will still be hot, humid and probably wet at some stage too, so it should be a fascinating weekend.”