Williams: Rosberg may be next big thing
|By Mark Glendenning and Pablo Elizalde||Thursday, August 16th 2007, 09:43 GMT|
Frank Williams believes Nico Rosberg could be Formula One's next big thing if he was given a car to fight at the front of the field.
The German driver has frequently shone this year, especially with his qualifying performances, as he continues making progress following his Formula One debut with Williams in 2006.
Rosberg, the GP2 series champion before Lewis Hamilton, has scored only seven points so far this year, but Williams reckons the 21-year-old could be a lot more if the British squad were fighting on top.
"Lewis is a big story, and quite rightly, too. Nico's problem is that he is driving an average-to-good car," said Williams in an interview with autosport.com. "If his driving is going to be noticed he really needs a winning car, like everyone else does.
"Lewis has got everything going for him, and he is clearly a phenomenon. It's quite remarkable, what he has achieved in such a short space of time.
"As with all drivers, Nico's abilities are coloured, good or bad, by his car; his equipment. Last year, in his first year, our car was really in the rearward third of the field, and now it is generally in the middle pack, behind the first three teams.
"Our target is to make it into the first four teams, or to displace one of the first three teams. It's not impossible, but very, very difficult.
"And then certainly, Nico will become ... not necessarily a superstar, but the next big thing. Which he would have been if he'd been in a Ferrari or a McLaren last year or this year."
Rosberg himself believes he has raised his game compared to last season.
"Of course I have stepped up this year; I think that's normal after the first year, especially as it was such a difficult situation," Rosberg said.
"But I think we have all stepped up together; the team has given me a much better car, and it is also more reliable. It just goes hand-in-hand."
Read the full interview with Nico Rosberg and Frank Williams in this week's issue of autosport.com's journal.