Williams expect Rosberg to shine

Williams' co-owner Patrick Head expects Nico Rosberg to have a better maiden Formula One season than Jenson Button had when the Briton made his debut with the team

Williams expect Rosberg to shine

Twenty-year old Rosberg, son of 1982 world champion Keke, has joined Williams after winning last year's inaugural GP2 championship.

The German driver will partner Australian Mark Webber as the British team try to recover from a disappointing 2005.

Head said Rosberg's performances will depend on how competitive the new FW28 proves, but the Briton reckons he can do better than Button in his first season.

Button also made his debut at 20 and he scored 12 points, also becoming the youngest point-scorer in F1.

"I think it [Rosberg's results] depends enormously on how good the car is and whether we are reliable," Head said. "If you say the car is competitive and we are reliable then I cannot really name the number, because I will be asked about it at the last race of the year.

"But Jenson scored 11 [12] points in his first season and I would hope Nico would be well ahead of that but it will depend very much on whether our car is fast and reliable.

"We have seen from Nico he seems to be pretty cool and calm. I am not saying his father was completely the opposite but he got a bit more agitated than Nico when things went wrong but Nico has his thoughts well under control and in testing he has made few mistakes.

"There has been the odd trip into the gravel trap but usually when our software has been a bit too adventurous in the controls, and so he seems to be pretty reliable and a good judgement and he has also been pretty quick."

Williams technical director Sam Michael also expects Rosberg to shine, but he reckons the young German will not have it easy with Webber as teammate.

"He is very good," said Michael. "He is a very intelligent guy. He is going to make mistakes like everyone does in their first year but I think in terms in the medium to longterm we can definitely see something very special in Nico.

"But next year it is up to him to prove that and I don't mean for him to win races and even going up against his teammate Mark Webber is a pretty tall order, but I think enough of him next year to know if he has really got what it takes to be one of the next big guys."

Team principal Frank Williams said Rosberg junior was very different from his father.

"Keke was more excitable which he certainly was, Keke's car control was just spectacular," said Williams. "He was unforgettable like that.

"I remember at Spa when the turbo cars were dominating in 1983 there was a group of five turbo cars in a train and right behind them in car number 6 was Keke, buzzing around after that. I looked at Ken Tyrrell on the pit wall and every lap Keke went by still right there and he said he did not understand it. He was brilliant in a racing car.

"Nico is more understated but very clever with his car, I say that. I witness what you would have seen in GP2, his overtaking was masterful, it was carefully planned choreography. Here is hoping."

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