Rosberg convinced he will win in 2011
|By Jonathan Noble
||Thursday, January 6th 2011, 10:24 GMT
Nico Rosberg expects to be winning races in Formula 1 this year, with his Mercedes GP team quietly confident about the progress it is making with its 2011 contender.
The German had high hopes about taking a maiden grand prix victory with his new team last year, but the 2010 Mercedes was no match for the front-running Red Bull Racing, McLaren and Ferrari cars, and the team stopped developing it mid-season.
But with several months headstart on the opposition in its preparations for 2011 - and the team in much better organisational shape after the tie-up with Mercedes-Benz - Rosberg is sure he will finally become a winner.
In an exclusive interview with this week's AUTOSPORT magazine, Rosberg says he is heading into the new campaign fully expecting to stand on the top step of the podium.
"That's the mindset definitely," said Rosberg. "It's not easy for us because from where we were in 2010, it's not so straightforward to make that jump because everyone else has a headstart. It's difficult, but it's achievable. We need to wait and see."
Rosberg enhanced his reputation throughout last year as he became the first team-mate of Michael Schumacher to beat him over a whole season.
Despite that strong form, and a number of podium finishes, Rosberg still has his doubters - although he is not too worried about the perception of him.
"That's probably the case in the media, but I am not really concerned about that," he said. "For me, it's important that I have a better car next season and I am able to win races.
"Career-wise, it is important that the people who make decisions in F1 see my performance and I think that, to them, my performance has been evident this year [in 2010]. They have seen that I have done a good job."
Rosberg's team boss Ross Brawn reckons his reputation will change greatly once he wins a race.
"He's a quiet driver in the sense that you don't see many flamboyant actions on track," he said. "But when he gets past someone, he's good in terms of overtaking. He just gets on with it and maybe that hasn't captured the public's imagination. Once he wins a race, which he will do, that will change."
*For the full interview with Rosberg see this week's AUTOSPORT, available in the shops and in digital form here. The issue also includes an analysis by AUTOSPORT grand prix editor Mark Hughes on why Rosberg's team-mate Michael Schumacher can win again in F1.