Poll: Should Nico Rosberg have signed for McLaren?

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Frank Williams revealed last week that McLaren made a serious bid to sign Nico Rosberg for the 2009 season.

He described McLaren’s offer for Rosberg as “majestic”, saying: “He could not have gone there this year, he had a fixed contract, but 2009 was going to be the worry. We had an option for 2009 but it was very tough terms, based on the constructors’ championship. It was by no means guaranteed we would achieve it.”

Has Rosberg done the right thing by throwing his lot in with Williams? Why has he picked an independent team over a manufacturer-backed outfit he could fight for the championship with?

This poll has closed. Poll results:

Yes 59
33% of all votes

No 113
64% of all votes

Don’t know 5
3% of all votes

Photo copyright: Williams

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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17 comments on “Poll: Should Nico Rosberg have signed for McLaren?”

  1. I respect Rosberg more for NOT signing for McLaren, actually.

    Leaving aside the fact that he would have probably become Number 2 to Hamilton if he’d gone to McLaren, it’s fantastic to see this kind of loyalty in F1.

  2. I voted No because honouring the contract was the right thing to do, especially when it was Williams who gave Rosberg his F1 break.

    Whether it was good decision for Rosberg’s career is different story … Who knows. As Alonso said few days ago, joining any team is always a gamble … I wonder how much say would Rosberg have anyway. Williams seemed to be much more determined to keep Rosberg than Button few years back …

  3. There is that obvious Lewis element to worry about but I think its more important to work with a team over few years leading to a championship…. Trust me this gesture of loyalty will go a long way in his career!

  4. He couldn’t beat Lewis when they were team mates in karts in a team run by Keke. So the odds are that he would not have beaten him in McLarens now. Williams are on the rise and rightly or wrongly he will get part of the credit for that and his market value will go up. Keke has always said he didn’t want Nico to go to McLaren as Lewis’s team mate so I don’t think there is any surprise in his decision.

    Once he decided he wasn’t going to McLaren he had no other sensible options. Ferrari have drivers signed up. Renault are in love with Alonso and Piquet has the richest man in the world paying for his place. BMW seem to be happy with Heidfeld and Kubica. Red Bull won’t change their drivers. So it isn’t so much that he chose to commit to an independent, it was that his option was to stay where he was presumably with a sizeable increase in income or go to McLaren to be beaten by someone who has previously beaten him on a regular basis as his team mate and have his market value destroyed.

  5. Hamilton did beat him when they were karting together at MBM but I wouldn’t agree the team was ‘run’ by Keke – it was him that provided the impetus to put the team together, but it was run by Dino Chiesa. I didn’t realise Rosberg Snr had come out against Nico going to McLaren though… that’s very telling. Nico might not be too happy about it if Kovalainen ends up beating Hamilton though.

  6. Varun Murthy
    4th March 2008, 11:36

    Somehow it always seems “right” to support the underdog.I would any day prefer Rosberg to win in a Williams than do the expected and win in a Mclaren.

  7. The McLaren duel will inevitably ruin one reputation or the other – Rosberg will have more freedom of choice by staying on at Williams and helping the team improve. However “majestic” an offer McLaren made, few things are more valuable to a racing driver than consistency within a team that is improving and respects you. Nico has that – now let’s enjoy him making the most of it!

  8. I think the team stability issue would be a concern as well. McLaren’s PR image, and their equality manifesto, was tarred during the previous season. With Lewis being a clear golden boy in the team, which doesn’t necessarily hint at favouritism, but I wouldn’t want to be the person who walked into that team feeling like a 2nd driver even if you wouldn’t be treated as such.

    With Williams, Nico has the chance to build the team around him, a team which he has been doing well with and seem to be going in the right direction of improving. Nico signing for longer term with Williams, and not McLaren, shows a commitment to succeed with what they have, not what they are given. I think it’s a strong driver quality to have, especially in the age where the front runners are a distant ahead of the rest. If Nico can lead the charge for Williams to return to the front, it will be reminescent of Schumacher revitalising Ferrari – on a smaller scale, but fundamentally the same.

    Good luck to Nico, and the Williams team.

  9. Win in a Williams that would mean beating a weaker teammate I guess. Win in a Mclaren he beats LH, one of the best.

    Anyway, I could be wrong, I seem to remember that NR talked to german RTL(answering a question) that he think he would not get along well with LH as teammate, cause both want to win, they are just too samiliar.

  10. I voted no although i would say he should have waited till 2008 end to renew the Williams contract. Although Williams team worships Rosberg much the same way as Honda does JB, who knows what opportunities would have opened up for 2009? I am willing to bet that one of the two BMW pilots are not going to have their contract renewed. Then again, with Williams right now seeming to do better than BMW and seeming to be on the ascendancy, all of this could be academic.

  11. That’s why I will always support the idea of 1st and 2nd pilot: if you get, say, the 4 greatest pilots into 2 teams, then you have a boring McLaren x Ferrari season. If you get those 4 guys spreaded all over 4 different teams, they might help some weaker teams to develop and get into the fight (like Alonso-Renault, Kimi-McLaren and Schumacher-Ferrari).
    If Nico has that winning spirit, he can help Williams go back to the top, and I dream of a 2009 championship fought between Alonso(R) vs Kimi(F) vs Lewis(M) vs Heidfeld(B) vs Nico (W). Much better, don’t you think? I’m sure Briatore and Theyssen and Frank have what it takes to make championship winning teams, they just need the drivers.
    So, way to go, Nico.

  12. There is nothing I would like more than to see Rosberg in a winning Williams, but right now the chances of Team Williams making the leap into the top tier are slim. Making a step up in the mid-filed is one thing, but returning to the winning ways of 11-12 years ago is a huge step.

    Still, if Ron wanted Nico once, and Williams don’t make that step up, I can see another offer in the future. Ron has a fetish for having two top drivers in his cars, for good or bad. Nico will be learning a lot in an underperforming car. Putting him in the best car next to Hamilton would really spotlight his talent.

  13. well, i voted for yes, because he maybe has trashed his big opportunity to be World Champion, but it was not the right time to join Mclaren now that they are in a "post-crisis" situation and still recovering from it… Williams is improving and despite the always limited resources compared to a big team with Mercedes at its back, it might be the best option right now… Nice one!

  14. theRoswellite
    5th March 2008, 5:24

    Mr. Rosburg, the younger, certainly seems like an individual blessed with unusual intelligence, maturity, and now, it seems, integrity.  Considering all the factors that must be involved in such a decision, and that he is probably the only one privy to them all………………….his vote is my vote.

  15. I think Nico made the best move in this situation. McLaren may not officialy favor one driver over the other, but Hamilton’s broad shadow would have made him a number two driver in the public eye, where with Williams he is unquestionably the man for the next few years. True, they may not bu pushing Ferrari this season, but the’ll be making some good progress from what I can see.

  16. I think nico is just a tad better than hamilton and would be prob the quicker of the two but i think rosberg is very loyal and nows that williams is prob the 2nd most succesfull team in f1.

  17. James Steventon
    20th April 2008, 7:22

    With all the hype surrounding Lewis Hamilton, Raikkonen crowned the new champion, and Alonso’s return to Renault, it is easy to forget the sizeable progress made by Nico Rosberg.
    I have to admit, I really think that this guy could be the next big thing, if Williams provides him the car quick enough and reliable enough.
    The really interesting point though, is that Rosberg is now clearly the main driver at Williams, and is a man Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head will cling on to at all costs.
    In many ways, he is to Williams what Lewis Hamilton is to McLaren. Staying at Williams will enable Rosberg to mould the team around him, to galvanise them.
     By joining McLaren, he would not have had this advantage.
    Maybe in a few years time, when Rosberg is challenging for the world championship, Jenson Button may well be kicking himself for turning Sir Frank down back in 2005.

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