Whilst predicting a continuation of Williams' upward momentum that began in the European Grand Prix two weeks ago, Nico Rosberg has confessed that scoring points will be a bonus in the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, rather than a target.

The young German troubled the points-scorers for the first time in seven outings when he took the chequered flag eighth in Valencia - backing up team-mate Kazuki Nakajima's pre-race claim that the Spanish street circuit would better suit the FW30 than had the preceding ones.

Indeed, Rosberg has an impressive record at street tracks both this year and throughout his career in general, but he admitted that the nature of Spa-Francorchamps - winding so evocatively as it does through the Ardennes forest, with its spectacular combination of long, sweeping straights and technically-challenging, yet fast turns - may not play to the car's strengths quite so well, even if he remains confident that Williams is now finally on the right path once more.

"We had a great race at Spa last year," the 23-year-old stated. "I finished sixth, which was one of my best results of the season. The important thing for the team at the moment is that we've identified where improvements can be made with the FW30, and are making the necessary adjustments to take us into the final few races.

"The work everyone at the factory is putting in should help us out in Spa. We're not going to make a huge jump, but we'll definitely be heading in the right direction.

"I'm really looking forward to the Belgian Grand Prix, because Spa is an amazing race track. It will be difficult to score points there, but you can never predict what will happen somewhere like Spa, so we'll have to wait and see."

As to his future with the Grove-based concern, Rosberg again underlined his commitment to the cause - as well as his threat that the former multiple world championship-winning outfit will need to perform rather better in 2009 if it is to hang onto him for the long-term.

"The team this year has given me a good car only for the three street races," he stressed in an interview with German newspaper Bild, "and for one of those I was on the podium.

"I am extremely ambitious - 13th or 15th places do not interest me. It is quite difficult at the moment, but I will definitely be here also next season."

Nakajima is similarly eagerly anticipating the penultimate European meeting on the 2008 Formula 1 calendar - what will be his first time competing in the top flight around the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, home to one of the oldest grands prix in the sport's history. The 23-year-old failed to finish in the points in either of his GP2 Series starts there in 2007.

"It's going to be the first time I've driven a Formula 1 car around Spa," the Japanese rookie acknowledged, "so my first priority will be to learn the circuit and to find out how the car behaves on this track.

"I have, of course, driven Spa while racing in GP2, so know what a great racing track it is. In fact, it's probably one of the greatest tracks on the calendar, so I'm really looking forward to taking my FW30 out and doing that first lap!"

"Spa is one of the greatest tracks we visit," agreed Williams' technical director Sam Michael. "The circuit is steeped in history, with one of its most prolific characteristics being its fantastic corners, created by some significant undulations over the course of the lap. It's a real challenge for the drivers to put in a perfect lap, on what is the longest circuit on the calendar at seven kilometres.

"Spa is a fairly fluid track, with the corners flowing smoothly from one to another. As they are either medium or high-speed, good car stability is a pre-requisite, and mistakes made in the early part of the lap are difficult to recover from. A car that can withstand some kerb-riding is also important to get through the Bus Stop chicane quickly.

"Weather is at its most unpredictable in Spa. The mountains in the area create their own micro-climate and small bursts of rain can appear on one part of the circuit and not on the others, which makes tyre choice an additional challenge! Strategists usually adopt a one or two-stop approach for Belgium, and Bridgestone will take the medium and hard tyre compounds."

Comments

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register to add your comment