Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug says new signing Nico Rosberg has impressed him throughout his racing career and is definitely ready to become a regular winner in Formula 1.
Rosberg was announced as the first driver for the new Mercedes GP team – formed by the German company's recent purchase of the title-winning Brawn squad – earlier today. Haug said he had been following Rosberg since his karting days and had long been impressed.
"I've followed his career for a very long time," he said. "I know Keke [Rosberg] very well and I followed his career which shows how old I am! I've known Nico since he was a young boy but this is not the reason that he is now driving for us.
"He was very impressive from his first races in karts that I have followed – obviously we helped the guys, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg at that stage with the so-called MBM Mercedes-Benz McLaren kart team.
"And Nico came into the support program of DTM in Formula BMW ADAC, won everything and raced for us with Mercedes engines in F3. And, more recently, he achieved a lot in GP2. He has starred in every category and in his first F1 race he got the fastest lap. He is very capable and this was the reason.
"He did an exceptional job for Williams-Toyota this year and delivered some very strong races that come to mind like coming home fourth from 15th at the Nurburgring. He brought the car to the finish very often, not a lot of mistakes, good speed in qualifying – all of that was the reason behind it."
Rosberg was unable to win a race during his four seasons with Williams, but did take two podium finishes in 2008, and a career-best seventh place in the drivers' standings this year.