Q+A Nico Rosberg
This weekend, Nico Rosberg is entering his third season as race driver with the Williams team and the youngster has high hopes for 2008. Rosberg talks about his expectations, the celebration season of Williams and his new team mate Nakajima.
You’re entering your third year as a race driver with the team this season, what are your objectives?
"First of all, the goal is for the team to progress as a whole and take a step forward from 2007. Because we’ve worked together for a while now, we all know each other better so we need to take that and use it to our advantage. From a Championship perspective, to move up in the overall Constructors’
standings is one of our main priorities."
You’ve covered considerable mileage in the FW30 over winter testing. What improvements have been made over the FW29?
"The aero department has done a really fantastic job with the FW30. That’s not to disregard everyone else within the team that has been working hard on it, but the aero on the car is a real step forward. We also already have a lot of developments which are scheduled for deployment over the year. People think that we can’t be as good as the manufacturer teams, but that’s not the case and we can compete with them."
With the team seemingly making progress year on year, is there a possibility you’ll be fighting for a Championship in the next two to three years?
"It’s difficult to answer that categorically, but we’re definitely on the right track. The team has recruited some strong people over the past few years to consolidate the existing structure and that has helped us to make some good progress. The new rules which will come in next year will also wipe the slate clean which should give us a big chance to enter that realm."
You have a new team mate in Kazuki Nakajima this year, how are you two getting on?
"I get on really well with him. He’s a really nice guy, and he’s also quick which is good for the team."
2008 is an important year for Williams as it celebrates 500 GPs, 30 years and 50,000 raced laps. Is being part of a team with such a strong heritage important to you?
"It’s amazing for the team to be celebrating all these milestones in one year! The team has moved on so much over the years though so I don’t really think about it too much, but it’s still cool to be a part of it."
Aside from testing, what preparations have you made over the winter to prepare yourself for the season ahead?
"I’ve been training really hard, perhaps several hours a day. I think people underestimate how much work you have to do to prepare for a season. Alongside my training regime, I’ve also spent lots of time with family and friends over the winter which is important."
There are two new races on the calendar this season in Valencia and Singapore. How do you prepare for new tracks and, in particular, for a night race?
"It’s always hard, and particularly with these two because they’re street tracks as well, but we’ll be doing a lot of preparation work on the simulator in the next few months. It probably takes only twenty laps to get into a new track and then it’s all about learning where you can make up more time."
Finally, your predictions for the year ahead in terms of the rest of the field?
"It’ll be Ferrari and McLaren at the front again, then probably BMW behind them. We should be closer to the BMWs this year, but it will be really close with us and the rest of the midfielders."