Nico Rosberg has urged that of paramount importance for Williams over the remaining seven races of the current F1 World Championship campaign is that the mistakes that have kept the former multiple world champions off the podium thus far in 2009 be eradicated.
Rosberg took the chequered flag fourth in the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest last month – matching his best result of the season so far, achieved at the Nürburgring a fortnight earlier – and has notched up a career-high tally of 25.5 points from the first ten outings.
However, whilst on six of those occasions the young German has lined up inside the top seven on the starting grid, he has yet to reach the rostrum this year, and if he is to achieve his goal of improving significantly upon the eighth-place finish he took away from Valencia's inaugural grand prix this time twelve months ago, he knows both he and the team will need to be inch-perfect weekend-long.
“From a team perspective, Hungary was another positive weekend,” mused the 24-year-old. “I had a bit of a messy start to the race, and I had to work hard to claw back positions after the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) cars just flew past me off the line.
“I'd gained my fifth place grid slot back before the end of the first lap and then progressed to fourth in the stops, which is where I finished the race. We had the opportunity to fight [Kimi] Raikkonen for second, but we made some mistakes. We need to iron those out if we're to make the most of our pace and start getting on the podium.
“After the race, I spent a few days in Budapest with friends as I love the city, [and] we then all went on to Ibiza for a few days on the beach. From there, I went home to Monaco to do some intensive training. I covered lots of ground on the bike, on the roads and into the mountains. As I've been following the Tour de France, I think I've developed a bit of a passion for it!”
His greatest passion, however, is undoubtedly on-track success, and having performed well around the similarly tight, twisty and tortuous streets of Monaco earlier this year – where Rosberg both qualified and finished sixth – the Toyota-powered FW31 is tipped to fare well in Spain. If he is to preserve his current position of best-of-the-rest in fifth position in the drivers' standings behind the dominant Red Bull and Brawn GP quartet, it will need to.
“This will only be our second trip to Valencia,” acknowledged the son of 1982 F1 World Champion Keke Rosberg, “and I'm looking forward to going back as the organisers have built a really good track. Unlike what you would normally expect from a street circuit, Valencia has a lot of corners but they aren't tight and twisty, but quite fast and flowing so the whole lap is quite quick. Combined with the temperatures, it can be a demanding race – but I'm prepared.”