Rosberg: I can be as good as dad

New Williams signing Nico Rosberg says he can be as good as his World Champion father Keke and win more races

Rosberg: I can be as good as dad

Rosberg senior was the first Finn to take the Formula One title, also with Williams in 1982, but ended his career in 1986 with just five wins from 114 starts.

"I hope I can top that count," Nico, who was born in Germany and races under that country's flag, told Reuters in an interview.

His reply, when asked whether he could be as good, was unhesitating.

"Definitely. And I'm going to work very hard to be as good as he was, although I don't really want to compare myself to him," he said.

"But maybe to his achievements I can compare, because he has achieved the top in motorsports and that's my dream too. I'll work my very best to get there."

Rosberg, who will partner Australian Mark Webber when the 2006 season starts in Bahrain in March, won the inaugural GP2 junior series this year while also testing for Williams.

Special Moment

Born the year before his father left Formula One, Nico grew up watching Keke racing in the German DTM touring car championship in the 1990s.

"It's always fascinated me; the whole sport, the cars, the technical side, the atmosphere, even the fans and the way that you are entertaining people," he said.

"Ever since, I have wanted to become a Formula One driver myself one day - and be a great Formula One driver."

The youngster said signing the contract with his father's old team, and one that will also be powered by Cosworth engines next year just as it was 23 years ago, was a special moment.

"I walked out to my Dad, he was standing there and gave me a big hug," he said. "I think I had quite a big smile on my face too."

Even if the big break has come earlier than expected, Rosberg says he is ready.

"I'm just going to try to learn a lot and quickly, as much as I can. It depends a lot on the level of the car what your targets are. I just want to have great results throughout the year, try to be consistent and things like that.

"I have a teammate who is very, very quick I think.

"Mark, especially on one lap, is one of the quickest in F1. I'm going to be able to learn a lot from him and I'm going to try and go out and be level with him on speed or even beat him.

"I've spoken a lot to Mark this year, he's been a great help to me. He's a very nice guy and he's helped me a lot throughout the year, in testing and everything. I really look forward to being teammates with him."

Proud Son

Rosberg, who is fluent in four languages and shelved a university engineering course to concentrate full time on racing, knows his name will put him in the spotlight.

"It's always been the same for me throughout my career. It's always been 'So, how's your dad?' and 'So, how is it to be the son of?' and things like that," he said.

"By now I've really got used to it and I'm also proud to have such a father.

"I'm very lucky. He's achieved a lot and given me a lot of support and help in my career because he's been through it all, on the driver's side and also the manager's side. It's just a great support to have behind me."

Their styles may not be so far apart either.

"I'm able to use my brain and I think he was too," said Nico. "Probably driving-wise there are quite some similarities. I never give up - whatever happens you'll never see me give up. I think he was quite similar.

"You always have to prove yourself, wherever you are, especially in Formula One," he added. "Even Michael Schumacher sees that. After being seven times world champion they still try and pull him down. It's a hard world but I'm ready for it."

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