Posted on March 1, 2009
Nico Rosberg – the secret of driving the 2009 cars | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

At the Williams team pre-season briefing the other day, I was mucking about with a Flip video camera and here is a clip of Nico explaining the big difference between last year’s cars and this years and the key to driving the 2009 spec cars. Sorry it’s a bit quiet, I’ll get the audio better next time…

Anyway as you can see, Nico looks very skinny. He’s had to lose some weight to compensate for the extra weight of the KERS hybrid system in the cars this season, as have all the drivers (not that he had much to lose).

If you want to follow the Rosberg plan and shed a few pounds, it’s all about keeping your heart rate at around 110 beats per minute while you exercise, so he told me. That way you burn off fat. Above 110 beats and you are burning sugar. While you watch this, I’m just off to buy a heart rate monitor….

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vm0X0J0rGfA]

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Nico Rosberg – the secret of driving the 2009 cars
13 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Frenchie
        Date: March 1st, 2009 @ 10:06 pm 

    Thanks James for this insightful video. When Martin Brundle retires from his current position, the Beeb will have to think about hiring Nico. I don’t thinking anybody else has made it this easy to understand the difference between this year’s and last year’s cars.

    Keep videos like this coming – great add to your blog.

    [Reply]


  2.   2. Posted By: Tom
        Date: March 1st, 2009 @ 11:11 pm 

    Lewis is a fan of oversteer I believe – while Alonso likes his understeer. Will the new tyres change the cars so much that it brings drivers with different styles to the fore?

    [Reply]


  3.   3. Posted By: Bruce
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 2:20 am 

    Any chance of a transcript of what Nico Says…? [ Do you have some spare time, Bruce? Moderator ]

    [Reply]


  4.   4. Posted By: Jason C
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 9:31 am 

    Is Alonso really a fan of understeer? I know this came about during his former stint at Renault when the car was quite understeery, but I was under the impression that what he actually likes is to turn the car in quite aggressively, which is one reason why he didn’t win the 07 title (the change in tyres).

    [Reply]


  5.   5. Posted By: Chris
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 11:22 am 

    Rough Transcript:

    “So we have 20% less downfore more or less, and have 17% more grip from the tyres, so lap time wise its going to be very similar I assume in the beginning of the year.

    “Driving wise, its pretty similar, it really is. What has changed is the balance of the car. Relative to last year the main difference is that we have more oversteer in slow speed corners, and that is the one place were you can make a difference car performance wise.

    “If you have less oversteer in slow speed corners because you have better aerodynamics or whatever else, that’s were you going to make a big difference.

    “It just a lot of oversteer. That’s the main problem for us and that results in you needing to drive a bit differently. You need to be more cautious because you can’t…once the oversteer comes, you have lost out on that corner – you need to try and stay within the limits. So that means you drive differently, more cautiously when going into the corner – even more so then in past years when you already had to be pretty careful. It really requires an adaptation by the driver.

    “That’s really the main difference to be honest.” [ Hats off to you, kind sir -- Moderator ]

    [Reply]


  6.   6. Posted By: Alastair
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 12:46 pm 

    Good news for Kimi! (he loves oversteer and many say that the trouble he had last year and in 2007 was the Ferrari’s tendancy to oversteer). His ex-team mate (Heidfeld) has the same preference for oversteer.

    [Reply]


  7.   7. Posted By: Links for 2 March 2009 « vee8 - a Formula 1 blog
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 3:01 pm 

    [...] Nico Rosberg – the secret of driving the 2009 cars – James Allen on F1 [...]


  8.   8. Posted By: Jon
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 3:27 pm 

    This kind of feedback from the drivers is invaluable, thanks for posting it James.

    [Reply]


  9.   9. Posted By: john g
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 3:44 pm 

    i don’t think any of the drivers like understeer (tho they would all prefer stable understeer to one with variable balance which is the case most of the time). alonso was just good enough to be able to adapt his style in order to make the most of the renault, which was designed with a weight distribution very different to everyone else. had the car been more on the nose, he would have driven that appropriately, and probably as effectively as he did the understeering renault.

    there isn’t a driver on the grid who won’t know how to, or be comfortable with backing a car into a corner. it’s more a matter of how the car reacts to this.

    the new tyres and aero demand more weight at the front, hence why the renault and BMW have such fat noses

    [Reply]


  10.   10. Posted By: James Allen
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 6:26 pm 

    JA writes: In my experience, most drivers like a neutral car but if it has to have a negative characteristic then understeer is preferable to oversteer. At least that way the car is predictable. It tends to be the ones with the huge talent who choose to live with an oversteering car; Senna, Schumacher, Alonso and you know who..

    [Reply]


  11.   11. Posted By: LMW
        Date: March 2nd, 2009 @ 7:02 pm 

    I hope Robert Kubica doesn’t lose any more weight – there’ll be nothing left of him.

    [Reply]


  12.   12. Posted By: Bruce
        Date: March 3rd, 2009 @ 4:32 am 

    thanks Chris – much appreciated…

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Peter
        Date: March 3rd, 2009 @ 4:05 pm 

    Is it me or the oversteering of Schumacher and Alonso just ain’t as obvious as Lewis Hamilton.

    [Reply]

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