Nico Rosberg reckons that the biggest problem from racing in the same team as Michael Schumacher comes from trying to avoid off-track media wars than in actually competing with him in the races.
Coming off of an impressive performances in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, when he out-qualified and outraced Schumacher, Rosberg is fully confident he has what it takes to do a good job against the seven-time World Champion. But he confessed in Australia on Thursday that one of the biggest frustrations is that the focus on their partnership means he now has to be hugely cautious about what he says, in case his words are twisted to create a media storm.
"It has massively gone that way for me – that I need to be so careful of what I say," he explained. "Unfortunately, I am not able to say any more of what I think in general, which is unfortunate but is the way it is. I can't afford bad headlines against one of the best of all times, who has a huge following and supporters.
"It is not in my person to say anything, but some people, if I say what I think, they will twist it and make it look bad. So I just need to be very careful."
Rosberg believes that he ultimately in a great position racing alongside Schumacher, because he gets huge praise when he beats his teammate, and yet it is not a bad thing if he is slower.
"For me, it is obviously a good position," he said. "If I am just behind...again it is the perception of other people. For me, it is just important that I do a great job in general. I am convinced I will do [that] the whole year, but for the perception of other people it is obviously a good position. If I am behind it is normal and if I am ahead it's great."
Rosberg also believes that both he and Schumacher will enjoy a step forward in performance if Mercedes GP can get on top of its understeer issues.
"There is a lot of understeer in some places," he said. "It is not the only problem we have, it is one of the issues and I am someone who is not able to drive very well with understeer so there is a lot of progress for both of us if the car starts to understeer less. We are trying to address that."