Nico Rosberg has received a ringing endorsement ahead of the 2008 Formula 1 campaign – the support of none other than countryman and former seven-time world drivers' champion Michael Schumacher.
Williams' new FW30 has demonstrated impressive testing form in recent weeks, and the performances of Rosberg in particular have clearly caught Schumacher's eye, with the man from Kerpen tipping his younger compatriot to be the revelation of the season.
“I have been most impressed by Nico,” the retired 39-year-old is quoted as having told Swiss newspaper Blick
, after testing for Ferrari alongside Rosberg and 17 other drivers at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya on Monday.
The inaugural GP2 Series champion – who is getting set to enter his third year in the top flight – has been a regular front-runner since the new, Toyota-powered machine's launch at the end of last month, and he told German publication Sport Bild
that he is bidding to take his car “regularly into the points” and up onto the podium on occasion over the course of the 18 forthcoming grands prix.
“The [lap] times have been very satisfactory,” the 22-year-old underlined, “even in moments when we have not really been searching for quick times.”
Whilst some have predicted Williams could even be the sport's third force in 2008, meanwhile – jumping ahead of BMW and Renault, who both preceded the Grove-based outfit in the final constructors' standings last year – Schumacher is convinced it will once more be simply a two-horse race up-front
“[Ferrari's] new car is better than last year's in all areas,” he asserted. “The world championship will be fought again between two teams – us, and the Silberpfeile
[silver arrows - McLaren]. Behind us are some others with question marks.”