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Exclusive Q&A - Nico Rosberg 20 Feb 2006

Nico Rosberg (GER), GP2 Champion.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, 14 October 2005 Nico Rosberg (GER) ART in the Williams motorhome.
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, 3 September 2005 Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd19,  Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, 15 October 2005 Nico Rosberg (FIN) Williams BMW FW25. Formula One Testing, Day1, Silverstone, England, 27 April 2005. World © Bumstead/Sutton

He has all the makings of a future star: the racing pedigree, the Hollywood good looks and the talent behind the wheel - talent that took him to last year’s inaugural GP2 title. Now it is up to Nico Rosberg to prove that he belongs in Formula One racing. Can he live up to the expectations that accompany his famous name, or will he end up merely another also-ran? His latest tests in the Williams FW28 have been very promising - no wonder he is brimming with confidence for the coming season…

Q: The GP2 series was always expected to be a talent factory for Formula One racing, and it certainly worked for you. How important was the series in getting you the Williams drive and do you think you would have made it had you not been become champion?
Nico Rosberg:
GP2 was very important because it put me in the minds of the decision makers in F1. I do think that even if I would have finished a runner-up in the championship, I still would have ended up as a full time F1 driver at WilliamsF1 due to my testing with the team.

Q: No one seems quite sure where Williams will find themselves in the 2006 pecking order. Does this situation make it easier for you as a rookie, since expectations won’t be running too high?
I thought so at first! But I was wrong. I hope that, as a whole, we can move forward very quickly and meet our expectations.

Q: You are the new kid on the block at Williams. Your team mate Mark Webber is far more experienced. Does that make you the number-two driver to his number one?
WilliamsF1 is of the old school mentality where there are definitely no pecking orders. You just race!

Q: Your father Keke was world champion with Williams in 1982. Inevitably you will be compared with him. What's your take on this and does it bother you?
It is not an easy comparison to live up to but I am used to it. I believe I can achieve similar things.

Q: Frank Williams is often portrayed as one of the more difficult characters in the paddock. How helpful is it that your father is familiar with the internal workings of the Williams team?
In the end it is just up to me to get on with it and find out for myself. By the way, Frank has always supported me a lot and I have never found him to be a difficult character.

Q: As reigning GP2 champion, you will start your rookie Formula One season in a confident frame of mind and with high hopes for the year ahead. What can we realistically expect from Nico Rosberg in 2006?
I don’t know, I just believe I am going to do well.

Q: To what degree do you feel you have familiarized yourself with Formula One, your team and the car? And in which areas do you still face the steepest learning curve?
I think I am very familiar with the team and the car. I still need to learn about the racing part of things because I’ve only tested. I hope everybody gives me the time it takes to learn all the ins and outs of F1 racing.