Exclusive - Rosberg & Liuzzi on 2006 09 Nov 2006
Nico Rosberg has endured a tough debut season with Williams. Despite clocking the fastest lap in the season opener in Bahrain and scoring third on the grid in Malaysia, a mixture of accidents and poor reliability weakened Rosberg's campaign. Vitantonio Liuzzi, meanwhile, enjoyed his first season with Toro Rosso and, after winning the Italian squads only point, claimed 19th position in the standings. Speaking exclusively to Formula1.com, both drivers look back on their seasons
Nico Rosberg, Williams
Championship position: 17th (4 points)
Best race result: 7th (x2) Best qualifying: 3rd (x1)
In this business, it is difficult to draw attention to yourself when you are not ahead of everyone else, when you are not winning, so I think the main goal I achieved this season, which was also my aim, was gaining the respect of my team because they are the only people close to the action and they see what you are actually doing. Williams gave me a multi-year contract and allowed me to establish myself in F1 and grow within the team and, from this perspective, this season has been perfect, but unfortunately not so from the performance point of view, where we were all a bit disappointed.
I came from GP2 where I was winning a lot and here in F1, in spite of having many great races, I struggled to get a good result, so it has been hard because I had to learn to cope with what was a new situation for me. We had a good start of the season but then it looks like the other teams progressed more than us, especially since the Canada and USA flyaway races. What I found easy this season was driving the car fast. Of course I had to learn a lot of new circuits, so it wasn't always evident that I was at ease. On the other side, what I found difficult was finding the right set-up for the car and also getting used to the routine of a Grand Prix weekend, because there was so much going on in terms of engagements for me on and off-track. So different from GP2!
We have had a good engine this year, we only had one engine failure all season between me and Mark and also we had good tyres nearly all of the time. What didn't seem to work quite right was the aero of the car and its reliability in general.
With regards to Grand Prix venues, I have liked circuits like Bahrain and generally all the tracks designed by Hermann Tilke. I also liked driving around Monaco - it was the same route my mum drove when taking me to school and it felt quite different to be covering the distance in an F1 car! And my fondest memory of this season will be of driving around the Suzuka circuit because I loved it and I felt comfortable around it from the beginning. All in all, it has been a great season for me, where I have learnt a lot of new things that will be important for me in the future.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, Toro Rosso
Championship position: 19th (1 points)
Best race result: 8th (x1) Best qualifying: 12th (x2)
It's been a good season, even if we knew from the beginning that it would not be easy. Red Bull bought the team in November and the new management had to roll up their sleeves to reorganize it very quickly in order to be ready for the first race in Bahrain. I have to say everybody has done a great job, always improving along the year, race after race. I have to say there is a lot of room for improvement but we have already done a big step forward. We have finished the season in 9th position and we are 5th as for team's
We expected our car to be reliable and this is very important. I have put aside unpayable experience which you can gain just on track. Last year I have run only a few races, but this year I have really learnt a lot. Now I'm looking forward to give back what the team has given me this year and I can't wait to have the steering wheel again in my hands and to push as hard as I can. If I had a lot of enthusiasm in February this year, it will be even bigger from now onward, now that I really think I still have much more to show!
Click to see more exclusive driver reviews from Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Felipe Massa, Giancarlo Fisichella, Kimi Raikkonen, Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, Nick Heidfeld, Ralf Schumacher, Pedro de la Rosa, Jarno Trulli, David Coulthard, Mark Webber, Robert Kubica, Scott Speed, Tiago Monteiro, Christijan Albers, Takuma Sato, Robert Doornbos and Sakon Yamamoto.