Nico Rosberg admits his season with Mercedes has been a disappointment, although he concedes he is happy to have performed strongly compared to teammate Michael Schumacher.
Mercedes took over the World Championship-winning Brawn GP team to race under its own name this season, but the squad has endured a disappointing year, having been unable to fight for wins. Rosberg, in his first year with Mercedes after leaving Williams, has nonetheless overshadowed his teammate, returning to the sport after an absence of over three years. Now, Rosberg admits he has mixed feelings about his season.
"It's a two-faced season. On one side there is the comparison with my teammate, and under this aspect I am very happy," Rosberg told Autosprint. "However, if we look at the absolute results, I must say that I had hoped for something more."
The German said he was happy that he has performed well compared to Schumacher, especially as he had doubts about the situation when the seven-time champion was signed.
"When I signed I had thought my teammate would be [Jenson] Button, and that was fine by me," he said. "When I learned that Jenson was leaving the team I had hoped that a strong, experienced driver would join the team.
"So, after learning of Schumacher's arrival, I was happy under this point of view. However, I didn't know what to expect from other points of view. First of all I didn't know Michael in person, and then I knew about his long friendship with Ross Brawn, and I didn't know whether this would have had an impact on my situation. Instead, everything has gone for the best."
Rosberg, whose team has been on the podium just three times this season, reckons it will not be easy for Mercedes to catch up with the leading teams next year.
"It's hard to say today," he said of his chances of winning next year. "Obviously I hope so, but the gap to make up to the top teams isn't that small. It can be done, but it's a lot of work."
He added: "If I have a car able to win many races, then I wouldn't be happy to win only one. I'd like to fight for the title until the end. I think that, in the end, the objective for every driver who has had a career like mine is to win the Formula 1 World Championship, and I'm no exception."