Satisfaction heading into the off-season
Williams Toyota driver Nico Rosberg had a solid second season in the sport, finishing ninth in the championship standings with 20 points.
The final race of the season, two weeks ago at Interlagos, saw Rosberg secure his best
result of the season with a fourth place finish. With Williams showing an upturn in performance this year, Rosberg looks back on the season...
Whatís your view of the season as a whole?
"The balance of the year has been positive. In many ways, itís been a good year for me. As is normal during a long season, we had some ups and downs. Races seemed to start off well in the opening rounds of the season, but the results just werenít there. As the season progressed, though, we were able to capitalise on strong starting positions, get some good results and consistently collect championship points. So yes, it was a good year."
The FW29 seemed a stronger proposition from its predecessor, why was that?
"Weíve definitely made progress since last year and achieved that in a number of different ways. A lot of improvement came following some careful restructuring of the existing team and then by bringing a few very skilled and experienced new people onboard. From the very first tests, the FW29 was working pretty well which allowed us to further develop it throughout the season, both at the factory and on the track.
You seemed a lot more comfortable in the car this year, was that the case?
"One of the key things I really noticed this year was that, while the car was improving both mechanically and aerodynamically, we were also managing to set it up in the most advantageous way for most of the circuits. I was able to get the speed more consistently and, together with my engineers, we were able to set up the car to a balance that really suited my driving style which meant I could really push for it. This led to many fantastic moments, particularly in qualifying where I managed to make it into Q3 11 times. Some of the race results even proved quite surprising this year!"
Do you feel youíve made some personal progress since your rookie season?
"For sure. I learnt a lot in my first year and that allowed me to prepare myself differently for my second year in Formula One. I knew exactly which areas to concentrate on. I am very critical of myself, so I am good at seeing where to develop, which helped me to improve things quicker. The routines involved in race preparation also slotted into place, so this season was relatively normal. It naturally takes some time to adapt to new things when you go into a different world, but this year there werenít any surprises. My development, combined with that of the teamís, meant we were able to get some good results. I think with an even stronger car, I could show what I can really do."
What were the highlights of your season?
"I think the best memory comes from Spa. After the pre-race test, we werenít convinced we were going to be particularly competitive so I was expecting a poor weekend. However, a great lap in qualifying put me in sixth position on the grid. Going into the first corner at the start of the race, there were just two Ferraris and two McLarens ahead of me and that was good to see."
"Melbourne was also quite positive because of my pass on Ralf (Schumacher). I was really pleased with that because it made fourth possible from a very difficult situation, and because the car wasnít that great in qualifying. I would even put Malaysia on my list. I had a good battle with the BMWs in the initial part of the race, which really showed our potential speed. Even though I didnít finish the race, it was still great fun."
"Last, but not least, Brazil has to be up there because its where I achieved my best result in Formula One so far, finishing fourth having started in 10th. I had another good fight with the BMWs and I beat them fair and square with a well executed overtaking manoeuvre going into the first corner. That finish also meant the team secured fourth place in the Constructorsí Championship. To sum up, Iíve had a lot of really good experiences this year and I feel I can go into the winter happy."
Source Williams Toyota