Nico Rosberg has insisted he is confident Williams will return to form in Formula 1 sooner rather than later, as he confirmed that – despite some recent speculation to the contrary – he will remain at the Grove-based outfit in 2009.
The former multiple world champions have endured an increasingly frustrating 2008 campaign in the top flight, following the false dawn of Rosberg's superb rostrum finish in the curtain-raiser at Melbourne back in March. Since then the young German has notched up just two more points from nine races, as Williams has slipped ever-further away from the pace.
That slump in performance prompted some in the paddock to surmise that the 23-year-old could once again be on McLaren-Mercedes' shopping list – as he was in the wake of the premature departure of Fernando Alonso from Woking at the end of 2007 – but following the announcement that Heikki Kovalainen will be retained at the Silver Arrows next season, Rosberg has similarly revealed that he too will be staying put for another year.
“We did drop back,” he reflected in an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau
. “Red Bull, Toyota and Renault, with whom we compare ourselves, are now simply faster.
“There are some more circuits coming up that should suit our car, though, and I trust the team that we will improve, otherwise I would have not signed for 2009.
“I don't regret anything – that would not help me. Instead I always look forward and try to make my decisions work. You have to have patience and show the best you can with the car you have.
“I am sure my time will come. Next year there are completely new regulations, and we could be at the front.”
As to the task in-hand, meanwhile – today's Hungarian Grand Prix, which he will start from 14th position on the grid following hydraulic woes that held him back in the middle phase of qualifying – Rosberg remained optimistic of a stronger race showing.
“We had a difficult start to this weekend,” he acknowledged, “but we've improved throughout the sessions and learnt a lot of things along the way. We therefore weren't looking too bad for qualifying.
“I made a mistake on my fast lap in Q1 and lost two-and-a-half tenths in one corner, so my Q1 time did not show the true potential of our car. We then had a good chance of making it into Q3, but a hydraulic problem meant I couldn't go out at all in Q2 which was disappointing.”