Nico Rosberg has played down suggestions that not having won a grand prix will continue to be a handicap as he seeks to gain the upper hand in the Mercedes team, and admits that he is happy with the way he has handled team-mate Michael Schumacher so far this season.
Speaking to the official F1 website, the young German reflected on team principal Ross Brawn's pre-season assessment of his experience, and the fact that he had not won a race in three seasons in the top flight with Williams, but insisted that, not only was he unconcerned about not having made the breakthrough, he felt that he would join the elite club of F1 winners in due course.
"I understand why [Brawn] said that in the first place, because the first win is always a sort of breakthrough, but, on the other hand, I don't think that it makes such a big difference," he claimed, "It's just a step in a career and, to be fair, our car is not a winning car at the moment. In Monaco, I think we were the closest we've been to having a winning car, but the Red Bulls again were faster. However, my gut feeling is that we will be there very soon. We are working in the right direction and it is just a matter of time."
Rosberg finished fifth in last year's Turkish Grand Prix, exceeding expectations for the Williams team, and enjoys the challenge of racing at the Istanbul Park circuit. With the Mercedes now equipped with the team's latest version of the controversial F-duct, he remains confident of being a threat for the podium on raceday.
"Last year was really good for me - I was fourth before losing that position to [Jarno] Trulli in the pits," he reflected, "We have brought some new developments, notably the new F-duct, but everybody has that now, not only us, so it is difficult to say what will happen on Sunday afternoon. [In Friday practice], the feeling was quite positive and, with more mileage in practice three, we should be able to wrap-up a good lap in qualifying and have a good race."
The inaugural GP2 Series champion also played down suggestions that, despite his own strong start to the season, the Mercedes team was starting to develop the WO1 towards team-mate Schumacher's driving style.
"Ross is absolutely right about that," he said, referring to Brawn's recent denials on the same subject, "It is not possible to build a car around Michael and, if it was true, it would benefit me as well, but a rumour in the media is very difficult to stop.
"I am very involved with the car in general, so we often communicate with Michael at the meetings, debriefs and all that - and Ross as well. He is a very typical, honest English person to whom it is important to have things in balance. Yes, he has a good relationship with Michael and likes him a lot, but I think I have built a relationship with him too over the last couple of months, so I would say that we three work very well together."
The media has become a more intrusive part of life in F1 for Rosberg this season, with the German press in particular hanging on every word that comes out of Brackley in the hope of detecting a rift between the team-mates.