Despite persistent speculation to the contrary, Nico Rosberg has asserted that he 'would gladly remain' with Williams in Formula 1 in 2010, despite the former multiple world champions admitting to having made a succession of costly errors this year that have cost the young German valuable points.

Rosberg has thus far endured a season of two halves over the opening five races of 2009, topping the timing screens in eight of the 15 free practice sessions, never qualifying lower than ninth and on two occasions beginning from the first three rows - yet on race day he has invariably either slipped down the order or been out of luck, to the extent that the 23-year-old has a mere 4.5 points to his name heading to his 'home' grand prix in Monaco this weekend, with sixth place in the Melbourne curtain-raiser the 'highlight' to-date.

That has re-ignited talk within the paddock that the son of 1982 F1 World Champion Keke Rosberg will likely see through his threat to leave Williams - the team that gave him his debut in the top flight three years ago, but one that currently languishes a lowly eighth in the constructors' standings - should performances not live up to expectations this year.

Related Articles

Rosberg was linked with a move to McLaren-Mercedes when he featured right at the top of the Woking-based outfit's shopping list to replace Fernando Alonso at the end of 2007, but he has remained fiercely loyal to privateers Williams throughout and, despite the early frustrations this year, insists that he is presently happy where he is.

"At the moment I would gladly remain with Williams," the inaugural GP2 Series Champion told Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell. "If they continue to give me car like that (the Toyota-powered FW31), and maybe even a little bit better, then I would be happy if I could stay with Williams.

"It helps to have more money; however, it is not the decisive factor. With Williams, if the co-operation fits, we can win with our budget."

The Grove-based concern's esteemed director of engineering Patrick Head, meanwhile, has acknowledged that the 16-time world champions have on occasion been 'not clever' this season, but sought to brush off accusations that the team is deliberately showboating by running on low fuel in practice in order to grab attention when it knows it cannot do likewise in qualifying or the grand prix itself.

Though the practice performances have raised expectations beyond a level where they can reasonably be met, Head is adamant that the approach is the right one.

"We run two levels of fuel and we do our homework," the Englishman explained of Williams' Friday tactics, quoted on "Usually, and particularly with Kazuki [Nakajima] because for him qualifying is very important, we'll run a new set of tyres on a lesser level of fuel - but we never run qualifying levels of fuel.

"Other people must be running race fuel all the time. For us it's not because we want to be at the top of the timesheets; we want to give the driver a feel for what his car's going to be like at that very important time when he's trying to get through Q1 and Q2. Maybe we have a different programme to other people, but it's not that we're trying to kid ourselves or anybody else."

As to the myriad issues that have blighted Williams' race day showings and led to the lack of solid results thus far in 2009 - largely failing to capitalise on the evident potential of what seems to be a tidy car - Head was characteristically forthright, unwilling to pass the buck and fully accepting that the team needs to get its act together fast.

"We had a pit-stop problem in Melbourne that lost Nico ten-to-twelve seconds," the 63-year-old underlined. "We almost certainly made a bad call on the pit wall with Nico in Shanghai, [when we] took him out of seventh and put him back in 19th - but then [Fernando] Alonso was just behind us when the safety car came in and Nico had vision problems that really he should have sorted out.

"His visor was running far too hot. That's one of those things that in winter testing when it's p***ing with rain outside the driver should make sure that his visor cleaning process is working well, but by pulling him out of seventh and putting him back in 19th you're putting him into a bigger ball of spray, so it was probably not a clever move."