Nico Rosberg believes he has increased his standing in the paddock with his performances in 2009.
Although the German was unable to repeat his podium finishes of 2008, he took a career-best seventh in the World Championship and was a consistent points contender – starting in the top 10 for 15 of the 17 races, and scoring in eight consecutive midseason grands prix.
Rosberg thinks these results have prepared him well for next season – when he is expected to join the championship-winning Brawn team having parted company with long-time employer Williams.
"This season has been an important year for me, because I really saw it as a kind of steppingstone to have the chance to fight for race wins next year, and even the championship," Rosberg told Williams' official podcast. "And that's worked out fine, because thanks to everyone at Williams I had quite a decent car, so I could really put in some good, consistent drives which just increased my value as a driver, and that was important. I'm quite pleased.
"Of course, we would've wanted to do better – we didn't get a podium, which was a bit unfortunate because I think we should have had one at least. But anyway these things didn't come together. All in all I think it was a good year."
He also feels that he is still improving as a driver, and is able to cope much better with the demands of Formula 1 now that he has 70 grands prix under his belt.
"Experience helps you to use your mind more, which will make me faster on track," Rosberg said. "It's really nice to use your mind and think about things, not only use your talent and go for it. Think about and analyze – there's so much you can do with all the switches, there's so much technology that you can use to your benefit to go faster every lap, and that's where I've improved a lot."