Oct.29 (GMM) F1's raft of sweeping rules changes for 2009 has given Nico Rosberg hope that he could be able to climb the formula one grid.
But when asked by Germany's Auto Motor und Sport if the new era for next year - including KERS, slick tyres and sweeping aerodynamic changes - is his only reason for optimism, the 23-year-old answered in the affirmative."Just because of the rules changes," the German confirmed. "Otherwise I would have lost faith long ago."His comments are hardly a ringing endorsement of Williams, but they do reflect the reality of the British team's latest phase as a competitor not fully backed by a manufacturer partner.Triple world champion Niki Lauda explains: "He is being held back by the performance of his car, which is something he can't do anything about."Another former grand prix racer and analyst, Germany's Christian Danner, told RTL: "In my eyes Nico is a winner, so to me it is almost tragic that he is losing so much time at Williams."Rosberg raised many eyebrows when, amid rumours of a switch to McLaren and perhaps BMW, he reaffirmed his commitment to the Toyota-powered Grove team.He explains: "At the time I had a valid contract with Frank, and as I learned from my father, loyalty is an important value."Of course there are grey areas, and in formula one you must exploit them now and then. But the signs were that staying with Williams was the right choice."He points out the danger of switching and then "playing second fiddle" at a team like McLaren, which is undoubtedly centred around its lead driver - and probably new world champion - Lewis Hamilton."As a driver, first and foremost you want a good and competitive car. So if you are contractually able, you would have to accept an offer from a team like this."But there is a danger of having to play second fiddle, which would not be ideal as from the outset you would be fighting against so many other things rather than just driving fast," Rosberg said.