Despite having recently suggested that should Williams not dramatically up its game in 2009 he will be out of there [see separate story – click here
], Nico Rosberg has insisted that he is fully committed to the former multiple world championship-winning outfit and believes in their ability to bounce back next year.
The 2008 Formula 1 campaign was one of slim pickings for Rosberg and Williams, with the young German – only two years ago widely tipped as a future world champion in-waiting – ascending the podium in both Australia and Singapore, but notching up a meagre total of a mere three points elsewhere.
Seven top ten qualifying performances were far more a reflection of Rosberg's ability to transcend the abilities of his car than of the inherent pace of the FW30, but equally there were three occasions on which he failed to make it even beyond Q3, and all too many grands prix in which he drove his heart out for no reward. It was, he acknowledges, an overwhelmingly 'overcast season'.
“It obviously was a very disappointing season for me in general,” he told the official Formula 1 website. “I had high hopes with the team, especially after 2007. I really thought that we would be able to carry the momentum into '08 and continue to improve, but it wasn't to be.
“I am thankful that on occasion my car was okay and I was able to show that I can still drive a race car, which is important as you need to keep your reputation. On these occasions I was able to put some highlights into my overcast season, which was nice, but in general it was quite disappointing. We simply were not fast enough.
“You can't really compare the past with the situation in the team today as we have completely new people, but you can compare to recent years. Four or five years ago [Juan-Pablo] Montoya was still winning and Williams had the best car on the grid.
“Last year we were the fifth-best team on the grid, so of course I am a bit disappointed with our '08 performance, especially with the development through the year. We didn't progress as much as we should have. The development went wrong from the beginning, and although everybody was pushing so hard to make it a good year it was not meant to be.
“Once it went wrong this year it was very difficult to catch up, even though we started to understand and really get to the bottom of the problem. It was difficult to turn things around – we tried, but we haven't been able to pull the big turnaround. Once you have taken the wrong path the others are continuing to develop and it was not possible to close the gap, even after we understood the problem.
“Sure I am looking for answers and I've tried to help them find answers, but it is difficult. We think we understand pretty well [what went wrong], we learned a lot and I am sure what we experienced this year will help us for next year.”