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Exclusive interview - Williams' Nico Rosberg 22 Feb 2007

Nico Rosberg (GER) Williams FW28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 17, Japanese Grand Prix, Practice Day Suzuka, Japan, 6 October 2006

With the Williams FW29 showing promise, a year of Formula One racing under his belt, and a highly motivated team behind him, 2007 could be the season Nico Rosberg realizes his potential. Rosberg, however, remains realistic. Here, the German youngster explains why Formula One racing is not the place for ‘sudden success’ and why he thinks it will take more than one season for Williams to return to their glory days…

Q: The first sessions in the FW29 looked very promising. What are your feelings about the new car?
Nico Rosberg:
It’s a good step forward. A lot more grip and much better reliability. It is a lot of fun to drive.

Q: And is this the car to take Williams back to the good old days?
NR:
Well I hope so, but that is too optimistic. The good old days are damn good old days and in F1 you cannot normally just jump back to the front from one year to the next.

Q: If you compare it to the FW28, what are the fundamental changes? It seems to perform well in dry and wet conditions alike…
NR:
It’s a whole new car really. The main changes are aerodynamic especially on the rear of the car, the engine as we have a Toyota engine this year, and also the gearbox as it is really state of the art this year in Formula One.

Q: Has it helped that Williams switched to Bridgestone last year?
NR:
No, in the end it didn’t help at all as the tyres are completely different to the Bridgestones from last year.

Q: It is obvious the 2006 results were far below yours and the team’s ultimate abilities. Could this be the season you fight back on the track?
NR:
Well that’s definitely the aim. It’s definitely the spirit within the entire factory also.

Q: You’ve now completed your debut season and, given the performance of the FW29 so far, people - and sponsors - will expect you to deliver results this year. Are you ready?
NR:
Yes, I am definitely ready. Especially since I have a season under the belt!

Q: You will team up with Alexander Wurz, who was the team’s test driver in ’06. A good combination?
NR:
With Alex things are going well at the moment. We always seem to demand similar things too, which is good as it puts our demands in a stronger position.

Q: Finishing eighth in the 2006 constructors’ championship was like stepping back in time 30 years for the team and Frank Williams. From your experience of the new car, what does your gut instinct predict for this season?
NR:
A definite improvement - a few places back towards the front. I think from the start we will have a reliable car that has the pace to finish in the points.