Rosberg ready to go all the way with Williams 28 Feb 2008
Driving a Formula One car that bears your fathers signature is a unique experience, so when Williams celebrated 30 years in Formula One racing with a livery signed by all the teams former champions, Nico Rosberg behaved like any other race fan and pulled out his camera to record the moment.
And with the FW30 looking strong during winter testing, it might not be too much to ask to imagine Rosbergs own name eventually taking pride of place on a livery celebrating the British teams 40th anniversary. Formula1.com spoke to the German
Q: Nico, Patrick Head said recently that the FW30 is better than last years car - but still not fast enough. As the man behind the wheel, what do you say?
Nico Rosberg: I definitely agree. We didnt make the most of it, but I am sure every team says that. And when saying we did not make the most of it, I mean that there are a few bits and pieces that are going to take a bit more time to get on the car through the season which will definitely help us. I think we have a lot of potential to develop through the season, which on one side is good, but on the other it would be nice to have them now. I think thats what Patrick meant.
Q: Reliability will be a big issue this season. Is the FW30 (and its gearbox) ready to take you through four races?
NR: To be honest we haven't had any problems. The last time I stopped on the track was in November, so I think we have made some good progress. Whether we can get to 100 percent reliability, where we really would want to be, I don't know. I guess that will be difficult, but we are making progress. But then again when it comes to the sort of temperatures that we have in Malaysia, when we have never run before in those, new problems can happen, so it is difficult to say. But the basis seems good, especially if you compare what it was like when I came to Williams - there is quite a big difference now.
Q: With the electronic gadgets gone the driver will make more of a difference. Did you experience any difficulties adjusting to the new situation?
NR: Probably at starts. It is completely different. Driver control is back in the game now. You learn to live without traction control after seven laps - that's no problem at all anymore in the dry. Unaided braking takes about eight laps. Maybe as the tyres get very worn towards the end of a stint that might be more difficult, particularly at the hot races, but getting the perfect start is the hardest thing. So I have run starts over the last couple of days and I am very happy with the way we have been doing them. Today we have been doing quite a few starts and it has been very good. But it's harder than with TC (traction control).
Q: Looking at the times over winter testing it appears that Williams could be the third force on the grid. How likely is it that we will see that in Melbourne?
NR: That would be a bit too optimistic I think. I see us fighting with Renault and Red Bull. BMW is the only one I don't really know about. For sure it's going to be tight with Renault and Red Bull and I hope that from one track to another we can get a bit of an edge over them. So our target is probably fourth in the constructors' championship at the moment. That I would judge as feasible.
Q: The next time you drive the FW30 will be for the real thing in Melbourne. Are you satisfied with the rate of development over the last few weeks? Are there any areas that you would want to improve more?
NR: That's always difficult to say, but our new aero package that we have used for the first time feels very good. That looks like another good step forward as it will be the package we will run with in Melbourne. We have been working on it for two months or so.
Q: Following the departure of old hand Alexander Wurz, you got a new team mate - Kazuki Nakajima. As he is a rookie, will you bear the brunt of development work?
NR: I have become very strong over the years in that area. I really like it and I understand that it's important so I'm happy to take on more responsibility. I think it has been working well and together with the team we have had some good ideas and had some good progress lately. And Kazuki, of course, is fantastic, even with his limited experience. He makes very good comments about the car, which is the most important thing. Maybe he doesn't have the experience to know the big changes that you can do but as long as the base - which is understanding the car well - is there then that's already a big help.
Q: You reportedly turned down an offer to drive for McLaren. That suggests you expect your career will get a boost at Williams
NR: I hope so. That would be the dream to make it with Williams. We need to take a step this year and then another big step next year. We will have our chance next year, there is such a big rule change that everybody has a chance. It's going to completely mix it up again. That's the big chance that we need to take as Team Williams.