Rosberg comments show fighting mood for Schu duel
(GMM) If a string of recent comments are any indication, Nico Rosberg is gearing up to beat Michael Schumacher in every sense in 2010.
The 24-year-old was the first driver to be signed by Mercedes GP, but shortly before Christmas the German marque revealed that the most successful driver in F1's history was coming out of retirement to be his teammate.
Shortly afterwards, Rosberg made clear he was not willing to play an Eddie Irvine or Rubens Barrichello-style role as Schumacher's number 2.
"At Mercedes there is no hierarchy. It has always been known that the two drivers are equal," he told Bild newspaper on December 15.
Some weeks earlier, at the 2009 finale in Abu Dhabi, the young German had been quoted as claiming Schumacher turned overtaking into a "dangerous issue" when he moved over on Mika Hakkinen at Spa nine years ago.
Then, on the same day as Schumacher's official confirmation by Mercedes GP, Rosberg told the Stuttgarter Zeitung newspaper that the 41-year-old faced a tough challenge in getting back up to speed.
"It will not be easy for him," he said. "When you stay away from F1 for a long time, it takes time to get used to all the test sessions again. It's not simple."
Rosberg's latest slight is an admission that, as a boy, he was not a Schumacher fan.
"To be honest, I was a fan of Mika Hakkinen," said Rosberg, whose father and 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg used to manage the Finn.
"I was always happy when he beat Michael, because he was a good friend of the family," the German told the new edition of Auto Bild Motorsport magazine.