Nico Rosberg has all but confirmed that he will be staying with Williams next season, insisting that he still believes that the Grove squad can challenge Formula One's frontrunners.
Despite having signed a deal late last year that ties him to Williams through to the end of 2009, the German has been at the centre of speculation linking him to a move away from the team at the end of the current campaign. While the prime destination for his services, McLaren, was ruled out when the Woking giant 're-signed' Heikki Kovalainen for 2009, Rosberg's future remains the focus of rumour with observers suggesting that remaining with Williams will only harm his career.
The 23-year old, however, insists that he is prepared to wait and see, claiming that he is happy to remain with Sir Frank and Patrick Head through to the end of his contract in the belief that Williams can pull itself out of its current slump.
The privateer started 2008 brightly, with Rosberg claiming a maiden F1 podium in the season-opener in Melbourne, but the campaign has been up and down since then, with Williams sinking to seventh in the constructors' championship - just two points clear of Honda - while Rosberg is tied on individual points with rookie team-mate Kazuki Nakajima in a share of 13th place in the world standings.
"The podium in Australia was great, but that wasn't the real picture," he told GPWeek
during F1's summer break, "Since the beginning of the season, we just haven't had the pace we needed, and we knew that was the case since Malaysia."
Despite the frustrations of the season, however, Rosberg insists that he is happy at Williams, which he believes is a true 'racing' team.
"I feel very comfortable," he continued, "I feel good, I've been with the team for a long time, I get on well with everybody, so it's very nice. "Everybody feels racing within them, right down from the top with Frank and Patrick, and everybody is pushing to the maximum. They all want to win, [and] that's something that not all the teams can have. It's just that the car isn't fast enough."
Asked, however, whether he could achieve his ambition of winning the world title at Williams, Rosberg remained circumspect, confirming only that he would still be on board next season.
"We have other things to worry about, and we need to get back in the right direction," he said of the immediate priority at Grove, "We can definitely do better than where we are now, particularly with the rule changes. It's a big opportunity to put a good car out there."
And of his own plans?
"The future is here.... well, next year. Then we'll see."