Nico Rosberg has ramped up the pressure on Williams by insisting if the former world champions cannot provide him with a 'top car' within the next two years then he will go elsewhere – but he admits that it would be 'a special feeling' to succeed with the Grove-based concern.
The German has raced for Williams since graduating to the top flight from a crowning season in the GP2 Series just over three years ago, but during that time the team has regularly flattered to deceive. In spite of no fewer than nine top six qualifying positions over that period and 21 inside the top ten, Rosberg has registered just half a dozen top six finishes and only 14 in the points, poor return for a 110 per cent effort that has invariably seen the 23-year-old out-perform the machinery at his disposal.
He has admitted on several occasions of late that – with his stock falling as other drivers enter F1 and immediately make their mark, in the way that such as former karting and junior formulae sparring partner Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, the new youngest-ever grand prix-winner have done – time is running out. Leave it much longer, and Nico Rosberg will be consigned to the list of those who had the necessary talent, but somehow didn't get the necessary breaks.
Whilst the 2008 campaign saw the son of 1982 world champion Keke Rosberg notch up his maiden rostrum finishes in the highest echelon – courtesy of a superb run to third place in the Melbourne curtain-raiser and an opportunistic but no less deserved runner-up spot in the sport's inaugural night race in Singapore – overall the balance of the season was a disappointing one, with just 13th position in the final drivers' standings and no other result better than eighth.
The sweeping changes to the technical and aerodynamic regulations this year – in addition to the drastic cost-cutting measures that have been brought into place – should in theory play into the hands of Williams, one of the sport's all-time greats in terms of innovation and engineering excellence. If the team is to hang onto its star asset – with Rosberg's contract coming to a close at the end of the coming season – it will need to make exploit its opportunity to the ultimate degree.
“I want to have success in my sport,” the former Formula BMW ADAC Champion underlined. “That's what I am racing for. I hope I have the car to have that this year. It's very possible.
“If not then I will have to see, because by 2010 I really want to be in a top car. I really wish it could be with Williams. That would be something special – to have success with such a great team would be a special feeling.
“That's my main focus and we'll see about the rest, but I'm confident they are going to give me a good car.”
“If Nico had a McLaren he would be running at the front all the time,” suggested team co-founder Sir Frank Williams. “[Losing him] is something we have obviously thought about.
“We want to have a competitive car and time will soon tell if we have or we haven't. It is by no means impossible.”