Mercedes GP pilot Nico Rosberg is urging his team to continue their focus on the 2010 car. Ross Brawn has been making noises recently about shifting the team’s efforts towards the 2011 season if it appeared that their chances of mounting a serious challenge for the 2010 title had evaporated. The season has almost reached midpoint, which would be a likely juncture for Brawn to decide to cast his lot one way or the other. But Rosberg is adamant that the team still has a fighting chance, even if they’re fourth in the manufacturer’s standings, and trailing points leader McLaren-Mercedes by 140 points.
“I am absolutely against [giving up on 2010],” Rosberg told Germany’s Sport Bild. “I still believe in my chances. If the championship leader Hamilton fails just once and I win, I will almost be at his level.”
Clearly, Rosberg has reason to be pleased with his performance this year on one level. He’s out paced his more illustrious team mate, seven-time world champ Michael Schumacher, at nearly every turn. To his credit, Rosberg has been modest about his achievement, going out of his way to say positive things about Schumacher’s effort this year. But underneath the public facade, he must be savoring the momentum he’s built up this year.
If Ross Brawn decides to scrap this season and train their efforts on next year, clearly they will adopt the view that the remaining races in 2010 are to be used as test sessions. That being the case, certainly both Schumacher and Rosberg will have their input. But given Schumacher’s long history of working with Ross Brawn, and his undeniably development skills, one wonders which driver will have more sway with the engineers. Perhaps Nico Rosberg is asking himself the same question. Perhaps this is why he’s insistent that Mercedes not abandon their focus on 2010.