F1 Fanatic guest writer Journeyer looks at the improving form of Williams star driver Nico Rosberg.
He had also been linked to multiple teams for 2010. But how did he get here? Let’s find out as we take a look back at the career of Rosberg junior.
2005: He had already shown much promise very early in his career. Winning the Formula BMW title in 2002 set him up for a test with his dad Keke’s old team, Williams, who were running BMW engines at the time.
Rosberg later won the F3 Euroseries. His success in the lower formulae encouraged him to pursue racing professionally, turning down an offer from the Imperial College at London to study aerodynamics.
Along the way, he made a decision to switch from a Finnish racing license to a German one, probably to allow Nico to become a more marketable driver – as Germany is a key motor sport market.
He was one of the first drivers to try his hand out at GP2, the new F1 feeder series replacing Formula 3000. But he really had to tough it out in a championship showdown with Heikki Kovalainen. But thanks to winning both races at the final weekend in Bahrain, Rosberg clinched the inaugural GP2 crown in dominant fashion. Here are some of the highlights from that first season.
2006: Rosberg had quite a debut. A charging drive in Bahrain saw him pull off two overtakes at the end of the race, making mincemeat of both Red Bull cars. He also set fastest lap in the process.
But Rosberg (and Williams’) form faded as the season progressed – with Nico struggling to score many more points that season. Team mate Mark Webber hit him on lap 1 in Brazil, which pretty much summed up how bad their season had gone.
2007: Rosberg’s second season didn’t get off to the best of starts. The early part of the season was blighted by lack of pace and the occasional mechanical issue, like here in Malaysia. Fortunately, the car came good in the second half of the season, allowing Rosberg to begin consistently finishing in the points.
2008: Arguably, this was his breakout season. He started in brilliant fashion, finishing third in Australia mostly by staying consistent and trouble-free throughout the race. Here’s a video of his qualifying lap.
More qualifying glory for Rosberg, this time in Monaco, where he ended up second in Q2 just behind Felipe Massa. It was a brilliant lap for Nico, showing excellent car control. But in the race, that same quality let him down, as he lost control of the car and shunting badly at the entrance to Piscine.
I would say that Rosberg’s greatest performance to date was at Singapore. Not just saying this because it happened to be his best finish to date (second), because he had to work very hard to get it.
Ending up in the lead after the (now notorious) safety car period, he had to build up a big lead to negate the expected penalty for pitting while the pitlane was closed. His pace was stunning, going 1 to 1.5 seconds per lap faster than those behind him.
By the time he took his penalty, only Fernando Alonso (of those who had stopped) had managed to get ahead. This brilliant charge meant he was now second, and he even tried to challenge Alonso for the win.
2009: This race can probably sum up Rosberg’s season to date. The race started dry and Rosberg (starting fourth on the grid) had a mega start (the beginnings of which you’ll see in the first spectator video).
But when the race turned wet (as you’ll see in the second video), his strategy went to pieces, and he could finish no better than eighth, for which he only got half a point.
While Rosberg has been solid for much of the season, many feel that the car (and possibly its driver) hasn’t lived up to its full potential. The car has regularly been in the points, but they haven’t finished on the podium all season.
Wherever he ends up, ‘Britney’ needs to get more pace and show he’s more than just a pretty face.