Williams driver Nico Rosberg is hoping to get his 2009 campaign back on course in next week’s Spanish Grand Prix after a frustrating start to the season.
The German, now in his third fourth season with the Grove-based outfit, has yet to deliver on his potential, largely as a result of uncompetitive machinery. Williams traditionally start the season strongly but struggle to develop their car at the same rate as the bigger teams
And so it has been in 2009 with Rosberg taking fourth place in Melbourne and planting his Williams on the second row of the grid in Malaysia.
The potential of the FW31 was unleashed in Sepang as Rosberg vaulted into the lead, only for heavy rain to spoil his chance of a possible win and podium.
In general though Williams have not been able to produce the same race pace as the Brawn GP, Red Bull and Toyota cars. The best Rosberg could manage in Bahrain was ninth place, as McLaren and Renault, now with interim split-diffusers, got the jump on Williams too.
“It s been a bit of a frustrating start to the season,” said Rosberg. “We should be going into Europe with more than 3.5 points from the first four races.”
“We were looking competitive at the outset in Australia, but things just haven t gone our way. It s also so close out there, probably the closest season I ve raced in.”
Rosberg is pinning his hopes on a recovery in Barcelona where Williams will bring several aerodynamic upgrades to their car.
“We ll have some aero upgrades for Barcelona which I m hoping will help us and push us further up the grid. It would be good to score some points to reward the team at Grove who have been pushing really hard.â€
“With the new rule changes, this year really is all about who makes the greatest progress back at the factories with development. As with all the other teams, we ll have an upgraded car in Spain and I hope it will make the difference we need.â€
Kazuki Nakajima in the sister Williams has also endured a difficult start to the season having failed to finish either of the three opening races. The Japanese driver is hoping the new upgrades will also bring him further up the grid.
“It s been a tough start to the season for me,” he said. I ve had three DNFs out of four races and I don t want anymore. I m going to put them behind me now though and concentrate on the work ahead. There s still 12 more races to go and I m determined to get some good results for myself and for the team.â€
Kazuki “I didn t have the new parts on my car in Bahrain so I m looking forward to trying those out in Spain and to see how the other new bits go. I m sure that the upgraded package will be a step forward, we already know how much time it will give us, but it s all relative compared to what the other teams have done.â€