Nico Rosberg believes Williams is on course to move up the field in the second half of 2009 as he is confident that the team is developing faster than its main rivals.
After several missed opportunities in the opening rounds, Williams has started scoring more consistently in recent races, with Rosberg taking a breakthrough fifth in Turkey two weeks ago.
“I think we’ve definitely made progress on development, compared to the last few years when we’ve fallen back a bit,” he said. “This year we’re always there and developing well, and one has to say that Williams is doing a great job this year. The budget is much smaller than some other big teams who we’re directly fighting against – like Ferrari and Toyota – and we’re developing quicker than them, so it’s been going well and I think I can be pretty pleased. Of course we want to be further up, but we’re on the right path.”
Rosberg reckons the current championship standings accurately reflect what Williams has been capable of so far, but he expects the team to advance up the order from now on.
“From the position we’re in, we have to say that’s more or less what we deserve,” he said. “McLaren is in front of us by one and a half points, and that’s not right – but we’ll beat them very soon. The season is long and we’ll be in front of them.
“In two races’ time we could be fifth in the constructors’, and that’s more or less where we should be. We should be much further up, but that’s what we deserve in this first part of the season, and we could still move up in the latter part because we’re doing well. We could give Ferrari a run for their money.”
He hopes to underline Williams’s progress with a good result at Silverstone, traditionally a weak track for the team in recent seasons, this weekend.
“I’m hoping for points for sure, and I think we can do a bit better than that, top six maybe, because we have a good update on the car, we’ve been competitive in the last few races, and the others that we’re racing against brought their updates to the last race, so we’re looking good,” said the German. “So I hope we can really do well again here, even though this has been our weakest track in the last few years. This year we’re more consistent from one track to another and I think our car could do well on this track.”
Rosberg’s contract with Williams expires at the end of 2009, and having long insisted that he wants to be in a winning car next year, he said the team’s current form made it more tempting to stay put.
“I’m looking around and at the same time I’m talking to Williams because they’re doing a great job,” said Rosberg. “They’ve really moved forward. And if the budget cap comes in next year it will help Williams a lot, because they’re used to not that low a level of budget, but a lot closer, and it will be a bit more of a mess for other teams to cut budgets by such large amounts.”
But he added that the current political turmoil made it hard to make any firm 2010 plans at this stage.
“Even without that, it’s a mess because you don’t know what team is going to be at the front next year,” he said.