Does the good car play a part in that respect that you seem to be more relaxed than before?
"I don’t think it is all down to that. It clearly helps, but I am simply happy. The right people are around me and I found the right balance in my life. On top of that I can fight for the world championship."
You seem to handle the disappointments better than before.
"I learn all the time, I get older, my personality develops and I got more mature."
This year the difference between you and Nico Rosberg is very small – how can you beat him?
"I don’t agree that the difference between us would be so small, because there were a few races where it was actually pretty big. All in all it is inevitable since our car is the same, our chances are the same, so the battle is tight. He has had less technical glitches yet even so I am pretty close to him in the championship and this is very positive."
The media always want to write headlines about your battle. Is it hard to handle it? Do you think twice before you say anything?
"I had to think it twice, but I don’t do it every time. Sometimes I let my mouth open and say what I think. And then can you run into trouble… We don’t hide it with Nico that we want to beat the other and we do everything for that. This is our job."
Is Rosberg a tougher rival then he was during the goâ€'kart times?
"Definitely. He is a stronger racer now then he was back then, but in Formula-1 everything is different. When we used to do, we didn’t have telemetry, it was just you and the machinery, so the driver played a bigger role. The other didn’t know where the difference comes from. Now we have the datas and it is clear where one has to play catch-up. You can learn from that and you can benefit from that.
Does it annoy you that you have to show you data to your team-mate?
"No, since I have been in Formula 1, it has worked like that."
Are you a driver who stays long at the track to analyze the data with the engineers or do you lean on your instincts?
"I leave nothing to my instinct. I work very hard with my engineers every day. Sometimes I stay longer at the track, sometimes I leave it earlier. I depends how much information I need, which changes I intend to do to the car and whether you are delighted with it or not. Everyone has its own working method. Michael had it as well, both Nico and me own ours."
Can you make use of the experiences gained in 2007 in this year’s intra-team battle?
"I hardly remember what happened in 2007, but those memories I gained then had an effect on my personality and probably I handle some stuffs better now thanks to those experiences."
Who is the tougher competitor? Rosberg or Alonso?
"I don’t want to talk about that – they both differ from each other. Fernando is however the biggest innate talent I have ever raced against."
After races you always post a short message onto Facebook. Is it you who writes it or a certain team?
"There is a team which manages this part of my life. It is me who takes the photos and it is also me who writes the messages, but it is not me who uploads them."
Do you have wider freedom in posting on twitter than you had at McLaren?
"I have the very same freedom. I have never been limited in what I write or what I do. It was myself who decided to share less content about my private life – my posts are more about racing. I don’t know, but maybe I will change that sooner or later for I like showing the people which places I can visit. The problem is with that that the press make stories from those posts, people make comments about them. That was the reason why I have posted less about my private life."
Do you intend to have a Mercedes emblem tattoo?
"It depends on what kind of contract I will be offered next time…" F1technical.net