Nico Rosberg is an enigma and even before he joined the Williams teams during the 2006 season, he was hailed as a future F1 World Champion and he was the first GP2 World Champion in 2005.
He scored points in his debut race in Bahrain and was expected to lead Williams into a new era as the team once again become an independent team at the start of the year and had a tie-up with Cosworth to supply engines. While great things were expected, it was the worst ever year for Williams as the team struggled to even finish races leave alone scoring points and challenging for wins.
2007 seems to be a promising year for the Williams team as they had Toyota engines and Rosberg scored points in the opening race of the season but then after an indifferent run of form towards of the end of the season Rosberg was very consistent and eventually finished 9th in the driver’s championship.
After the Alonso-Hamilton saga, rumours were flying that McLaren were interested in signing the German driver and add into the fuel Ron Denis also accepted that Rosberg would be an ideal fit for the team given his talents and also nationality which would definitely please Mercedes Benz but his father decided that his son was better off in Williams and be the lead driver rather than play 2nd fiddle to Hamilton his old rival from F3 days.
After a very promising start to the 2009 season where Rosberg and Williams were topping the testing timing during Friday practice but during the race a combination of bad luck and poor strategy failed to see the team make any impact while the likes of Brawn, RBR and Toyota were dominating the races. Now with the European leg of the season in and with the likes of Ferrari and BMW improving every race and with McLaren and Renault expected to be competitive very soon expect another season for Williams where to struggle to score points.
Rosberg has always had the potential to become a world champion if he drives for the right team but now after 4 seasons with Williams he is yet to get a car which can challenge for the World Championship. Atleast Jenson Button’s long wait with the BAR/Honda team finally paid off this season as the Brawn GP is setting the track on fire and he has won 4 out of the 5 races this season and only Vettel seem to be the guy who can pull off the title from Button at the last minute.
But given the financial situation Williams is, it is unlikely that they reach the glory days of the 80’s and 90’s unless Toyota does makes them their works team but then with the way Toyota is performing this season it is unlikely to happen very soon.
Rosberg can survive with a quick teammate and he has enough options on the grid and he needs to choose quickly or he may become another Mark Webber a very good driver but was always at the wrong place at the right time.
Webber was Rosberg’s first teammate and Rosberg during his rookie season was not too far behind Webber and during his 2nd season was even faster than the experienced journeyman Alexander Wurz who’s CV includes stints with McLaren and Benetton apart from Williams.
Rosberg’s best option would be either McLaren or even BMW but BMW race seat will be open only if Heidfeld has a drastic dip in fortune and that is unlikely to happen given his early season performance. Other teams in fray could also include the likes of Renault, Toyota and even Brawn GP given that Barrichello is 37 and after the controversy in Barcelona may not stick with the team for too long.
Given the conditions, Renault may not stick around for too long and McLaren a team which can’t keep off controversy his best bet would be Brawn GP and with Jenson Button as a teammate and under the leadership of Ross Brawn, Rosberg can finally fulfil his potential and become a World Champion if not then he would become another Mark Webber who is a highly talented driver but it is a bit too late for any championships.