BERLIN: Nico Rosberg might have grown up admiring the exploits of Michael Schumacher, but he has indicated that the Formula One great will have to fight if he wants number one spot on their Mercedes team.
Rosberg, 24, the son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg, had already signed for Mercedes, the ex-Brawn team, before Schumacher finally confirmed his return to the sport in December after a three-year absence.
Despite having no wins so far in 70 races, Rosberg, formerly of Williams, intends on being the team’s leader this season.
“We are on an equal footing in the team, it’s always been like that at Mercedes, that’s their philosophy,” Rosberg told Auto Bild Motorsport magazine Thursday.
“Your own teammate is the driver you always compare yourself to because he has the same car. That’s why my aim is to be in front of him as often as possible.”
Although an aspiring apprentice driver just as Schumacher was winding down his illustrious career, Rosberg – who has double German and Finnish nationality – had a bigger idol.
“To be honest, I was a fan of Mika Hakkinen. I was always happy when he beat Michael, because he was a good friend of the family.”
Rosberg finished seventh in the 2009 world championship won by Britain’s Jenson Button.
However for Rosberg the return of 41-year-old Schumacher is not all bad news.
“For three years (of his absence) he’s stayed active and enthusiastic, and he wants to race again. He’s happy and that’s what matters.” — AFP