Maiden podium for Rosberg, Malaysia penalty for Nakajima 16 Mar 2008
Nico Rosberg finished an excellent third in Sundays Australian Grand Prix to secure his first Formula One podium. Combined with team mate Kazuki Nakajimas sixth place, it means Williams leave Melbourne second in the constructors championship behind McLaren.
Starting seventh on the grid, Rosberg drove a clean, fast and confident race at the head of the field, surviving three safety-car periods to bring his Toyota-powered FW30 home less than three seconds behind the second-placed BMW Sauber of Nick Heidfeld.
I am really, really happy and I have to say that being on the podium in Formula One is a really great feeling, said the delighted German. Its been a while since I have been here and its great for the whole team as they have been working hard over the winter, they have done a good job and made some real progress. I gave everything I had today, but it was a tough race on a street circuit in the heat which didnt make it easy.
Nakajima had a more eventful race, finding himself caught up in two incidents further down the field, the latter of which - when he ran into the rear of Robert Kubica's BMW Sauber - earned him a ten-place grid penalty for next weekend's Malaysia race.
Nevertheless, the Japanese driver was more than happy to have scored points in only his second Grand Prix. After the flag he moved up from seventh to sixth place thanks to Rubens Barrichellos disqualification.
To get to the end today was great, great to finish and great to get some points, he said. It was really tough out there today physically, but on top of that there was so much going on. At the start, a car spun in front of me, turned side on and damaged my nose. Then with the various safety car periods, the team did a great job to swap my strategy to a one stop that put me in the points. Towards the end of the race, I had another incident when all the cars backed up into each other and I damaged my nose again.
Williams nine-point haul puts them one point ahead of BMW Sauber in the standings and five behind championship leaders McLaren.