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Williams question 'inconsistent' Rosberg
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Williams question 'inconsistent' Rosberg
Posted By:   |  11 May 2009   |  4:30 pm GMT  |  56 comments

I’m intrigued by the comments coming out of Williams over the last 24 hours, regarding Nico Rosberg.

First at the top of yesterday’s press release after the race they said, “Inconsistency compromised a strong strategy and left Nico in P8 and with one point at race end.”
Picture 40

Then lower down, Patrick Head says, “Nico’s pace in the first stint was initially good, but we then struggled to maintain consistency, so we will have to investigate that.”

Today comes a de-brief document from the team, in which technical director Sam Michael says
“Nico’s lap times were somewhat inconsistent, yes, and we are now looking carefully through all of the data and bodywork parts to determine what caused that.”

Williams’ frustration is evident; they lie 8th in the constructors championship with a scant 4.5 points, despite being one of the teams who started the season with the advantage of a double diffuser.

Sam Michael goes on to say, “Even if we think we have a faster car than how we currently stand in that table, the Constructors’ order is what the overall performance of our team is measured by. ”

This is all finessed with layers of pr gloss, but reading between the lines I think Williams are a bit fed up with Rosberg’s performance this year.

In his defence, as far as the inconsistency is concerned, I heard last night before I left the track that Rosberg had suffered some problem with the floor of the car, which may have affected him in certain corners around the Barcelona track and resulted in him struggling to turn in consistent times. I look forward to the findings of their current investigations into the car.

But the fact is that Rosberg hasn’t really been pulling up trees this year. I’ve heard it suggested that if someone like Fernando Alonso were in that car he would have scored podiums with it, but who’s to know?

Let’s take a look though at Nico’s race and see what the team is referring to.

Nico starts the race on Sunday from 9th on the grid, but took advantage of the chaos at the first corner to move up to 7th. His lap times do not come down like the other front running drivers, a lap of 1m 24.2 is followed by a 1m25.0. A few laps later a 1m 24.1 is followed by a 1m 25.9. No traffic is involved.

He pits on lap 25 and the second stint is more consistent, working his way down through the 1m24s to the 1m23s. There is often three or four tenths of disparity between laps, however. He has lost time and later in the race Nick Heidfeld in the BMW gets in front of him, at the second pit stops.

The BMW is at least 2/10ths slower than the Williams, so this is an irritant. In Bahrain it will have irritated the team that Rosberg, with a significant package of upgrades, was only two tenths faster than Nakajima in qualifying. The impression is of a driver who is struggling to make things happen in his fourth season in F1.

I remember a few years ago, when one of the drivers wasn’t pulling his weight to the extent Patrick expected he said, “We are deep in Boutsen territory,” referring to Thierry Boutsen, who had plenty of days when he wouldn’t be able to perform.

I’m not saying for a second that they are in ‘Boutsen territory’ now, but Rosberg is certainly under scrutiny there. That message is coming through loud and clear.

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56 Comments
  1. old dude says:

    out of interest who was he referring to as ‘in boutsen territory?’ my guess is either zanardi or ralf in his last year at williams

  2. Sam98 says:

    You have to love Williams… they’ve never been afraid to lure and cull the big scalps and they’re the epitomy of racers to me – do your best no matter what (or who).

    When I read debate about the budget cap possibly driving big manufacturers away I think back to the days before them when Williams, McLaren, Jordan, Benetton, Tyrell, Stewart, etc. went head to head and gave us fantastic racing.

    Toyota or Williams? I know which team I’d miss most.

  3. cap says:

    Well Nico is still out-preforming his team-mate and is that not the main thing.

    Personally I think Nico is not a strong driver in terms of set-up and development. When Williams had Wurz, they did a good job and kept improving the car throughout the season. The following year, the car starts of well with 3rd in Melbourne and then starts to drop off as the year went on.

    I think Williams is suffering from the lack of an experienced driver, and therefore they aren’t consistently getting the best out of a good car.

  4. Dominic J says:

    Rosberg’s form upsets Williams? What’s their view on Nakajima, who qualified 2 places behing Nico (again) and made no impression at all on the race (again)?
    Is he in Patrese territory?

  5. Steve says:

    Apologies for this question being off topic, but given the testing ban during the season, other than race weekends and simulators, how do the drivers keep their track skills honed?

    Are they allowed to drive the car on a normal track but without disgnostic equipment attached or are they driving former F1 cars?…surely the level of skill and precision they demonstrate at each race cannot be maintained without daily practice?

  6. Will Jordan says:

    In fairness to Nico, Williams have done him no favours in terms strategy. He was running strongly in the first two races but they were ruined by a combination of bad luck and poor pitwall calls. But I agree that the last two races have been disappointing for both driver and team. It doesn’t help that Kazuki is no real benchmark. I can’t help but think that they are missing a bit of experience in the driver department. At Red Bull theyhave the talented Vettel, but he is still young and isn’t quite ready to consistently deliver week in and out. And for that they have excellent Webber to step up, like yesterday. Nico is still only 23 and having to lead the revival of such a famous name is a massive responsibility for such a young guy, especially when the team are making mistakes too.

  7. Red Andy says:

    I was intrigued by Rosberg’s comments before the season, where he threatened to leave Williams at the end of the year if they did not produce a good car. At the time I commented that I thought it was Nico who would have to improve if the Rosberg-Williams partnership was to continue.

    It looks now as if my view is being vindicated. For the first time in a long time Williams have a fundamentally good car this year, but unfortunately for them they appear not to have the drivers to make the most out of it.

  8. Will Jordan says:

    Things don’t seem totally altogether at Williams right now, but in fairness to Nico, he is not the only one performing inconsistently, the team on the pitwall have let him down at times too. He should have been on the podium in the first race after a great attacking performance, but when everyone elses softs were degrading badly in the final stint, the team were telling him to push like mad on his softs, spoiling his race when they went off. And in Malaysia, he was on course for a strong podium, perhaps second when rain/bad tyre calls cost him any points whatsoever. But yes, he has not delivered in the past two races. It can’t help though that the onus is totally on him though – Kazuki is no real benchmark – I mean, he is a talented driver, but he is no Alonso, he is not ready for a team to be immersed around him. I can’t help but feel they are lacking experience in the driver department. This is where Red Bull have got it right. Vettel is a great prospect and clearly their chosen one, but he is not yet at the stage where he is performing brilliantly week in and out, and for those occasions, they have the excellent Webber to pick up the pieces, like yesterday. Its easy to forget that Rosberg is still only 23, yet Williams are totally relient on him to perform week after week. I really think its time they had some experience or at least a benchmark in the other seat. Wurz wasn’t quick but he was regarded as an excellent development driver, and the car has not been a consistent performer since he left. We know from 2007, and from the odd race last year (Singapore for one, we know luck was involved but that ten lap run before his drive-through was awesome) what Rosberg is truely capable of, but he is having to shoulder what most teams have two drivers for, and thats a lot for a young guy in such a famous team to cope with.

  9. mike wessel says:

    James I know this doesn’t come across right but I’m almost glad you are no longer having to do the commentating as you would not have enough time for the blog.
    It’s bloody brilliant, thank you and keep up the great work.

  10. Nuno Mendes says:

    > Nico starts the race on Sunday from 9th on the grid, but
    > took advantage of the chaos at the first corner to move
    > up to 7th

    Not exactly. He did a good start and was almost able to overtake Alonso. He got 7th on merit and was very close to do even better.

    > He has lost time and later in the race he Heidfeld in
    > the BMW gets in front of him, at the second pit stops

    At the end of the second stint he was blocked by vetel who left the pits just is front of him. If I remember well he was lapping at 1.25 for several laps while at the end of the first stint he lapped at 1.23. That’s the reason why Heidfeld got in front of him.

  11. Uppili says:

    I am not exactly sure what Williams are bitching about Rosberg (if indeed they are…). If anything the team has been the one that has let down Rosberg and not helped him extract more than the other way around.

    Although i rate Rosberg, i am not a fanboy of his who will defend him without objectivity. Lets look race by race….

    Australia: Williams like Redbull failed to work out the tire strategies correctly and gave Nico option tyres for the third stint. The fact that there was safety car on track twice did not help him either enabling others to close up to him. Then his engineer urges him to “get Vettel”, thus ruining the already on the edge option tires and makes him a sitting duck.

    Malaysia: Makes a stonking start and files off into the distance. After first stop he looses his lead to the all mighty Brawn car, but still in contention for a podium. Williams elect to call him at the wrong time for wet weather tyres and effectively loose the podium for him.

    China: Poor judgment by the pit crew on when to call him in for fuel and tyre behind the safety car. Force India got it right with Sutil and were close to getting a point. If a car so back on the grid can do it, why not a car qualified on the right end of the grid unless there was a strategical cock up?

    Bahrain: This was probably the race where Nico admitted to be struggling with the car set up. Anyway Williams were already beginning to fade in terms of competitiveness.

    And now in Spain, the investigation is not complete to confidently conclude that the driver was to blame. Besides that, WilliamsF1 is not a single driver race team. What happened to a certain Kazuki Nakajima? SO what exactly are Williams complaining about Nico. If anything, he needs to complain about them….

    May be James, are you just reading too much into all of this?

  12. Andy Fov says:

    Funny really after all Rosberg’s pre-season “this car needs to be worthy of my talents or I’m off” rhetoric we’re now asking whether he’s worthy of the car.

  13. Joe says:

    I can not see how Rosberg is getting stick when you look at the performance of Nakajima. On that basis Nakajima should have been replaced long ago. Oh but wait not when Toyota have bought your seat….

  14. F1 fan says:

    Well Nico should be quick in Monaco, he always is. Nico hasn’t had a good season, but if that last race was down to the car then he shouldn’t be in any trouble. He is still beating Nakajima, but he should be doing better.

  15. Rob says:

    Very interesting analysis. As a Williams fan i have found myself so far this year questioning Nico’s ability. You hit the golden question what would Alonso have scored so far this season, I’d say at least 20 points. Nico has been saying he wants a race winning car, well I’d like a race winning driver!!

  16. Yeah I’m not the biggest fan of Nico. He’s good looking and well spoken but he never seems to have that last bit required to go from having a good race to a winning race.

    Loads of excuses have been made but I’m not sure whether it’s just him to blame sometimes?

  17. boltonjon says:

    One word……SATO

    I right kick up the backside!

  18. Gasman says:

    If i was williams i would keep it zipped, when a Mclaren drive at the end of the year looks avaliable for him.

    Nakajima needs to sharpen up, that would push Rosberg.

  19. F1 Legacy says:

    Totally agree with you Will Jordan, but guys like James Allen on pay attention to the bad things, because those things are that make noise.

    Let’s make a little season review of Rosberg.

    1. Oz GP, he was comfortable behind Vettel just before the team put 20 seconds on his first stop, then when he was fourth the team call him to chasing down Barrichello with soft tires and 15 laps of fuel onboard, the rest is history, between six and eight point lost by team mistakes.

    2. Sepang GP, another amazing start by Rosberg, then the team call him very early, they said that Rosberg still had three more laps of fuel onboard, the team mistakes with the rain was another story, he lost al least four points.

    3. Chinese GP, another bad call by the team with the SC, so we are talking about two or maybe four points.

    At that time Rosberg was suppose to had at least 15 points by team mistakes had cost him 11.5 points.

    And now James Allen made this entry to questioning Rosberg’s Performance? What about Williams bad couching at the pit wall? How on earth a driver can keep focus and motivated when his team blow out every race with bad calls at the pit wall?

    God…

  20. Sven says:

    Yes I think you are right to bring this up. Rosberg has often looked promising but never quite delivered. A really god driver somehow has the ability to get a slightly better result than the car is capable of. This is something Rosberg has never done. I think what Williams and Rosberg need is strong driver in the other car to both help with development and give Rosberg a wake up call. Far to often we hear him comment after a race “it was just one of those races where everything went wrong”

  21. Malcolm46 says:

    I think Williams could do a lot worse things than keeping hold of Rosberg. The kid is quick, and has often got the Williams into positions it shouldnt have been such as Singapore 08, luck was invovled but he did the job.

    I would certainly thought echo many of the previous posts about Nakajima. The lad can be quick sometimes, but when you compare him and Rosberg, Rosberg comes out on top. Maybe Williams should have a look at him, but then again, that could risk William’s engine supply…..

  22. Jake Pattison says:

    I dont think one really needs to read between the lines of those statements James. I reckon they are paving the way for a replacement, sooner rather than later.

    Do you have any idea who Patrick/Frank may have in mind?

    It might be time to put Nico H in the hot seat – this from their own website regarding NH – “With a consistency that has seen success in every category of racing he has contested to date”.

    They do value consistency! :)

  23. caanan says:

    I have Nico in my pool and I’m about to trade him. He has missed many an opportunity this year, some not his fault. Sad thing is, early on this season is when Williams had it’s best chance. With the big teams catching up, it will most likely only get worse from here on out. Frank and Patrick must know they squandered a golden chance this year.

  24. Chris Johnson says:

    Williams and Rosberg did seem to have a golden opportunity to make hay early in the season, but so did Toyota. Now both are being swamped by development in the other teams. I don’t see them turning it around.

    The other part of this is that Williams has never been good at coddling their drivers, and this car isn’t good enough to attract better ones, like they used to do.

    It will be interesting to see how rookie Hulkenberg does next year, and if Rosberg will be as “in demand” as he was a year ago.

  25. Michael Roberts says:

    There seems to be a lot of hatred for Nakajima – a lot of people thinking he’s only there because Toyota foot the bill but he did a respectable job last year and with a bit more luck could have done better in ’09.

    He missed out on the top 10 shootout by 0.02 seconds and had to come in for a new front wing after the first lap crazyness. On any other track he probably would have made some places but Barcelona isn’t known for it’s overtaking.

  26. chris says:

    Nico has to do everything he can to get into kovalainens seat at the end of the year. It’s time for him to try and negotiate his way up the grid or risk getting lost in the midfield for eternity. Each year that passes, his star diminishes.

  27. michael c says:

    James I echo the comments I have seen on many of the articles of yours recently – this is a great F1 site and a real find – please keep up the great work and you are sadly missed on BBC – although they are doing a great job (but get off Eddie and Johnathan L!).

    Back to Rosberg. I have a keen interest in F1 (although seeing how Bernie treats the punters sometimes I wonder why) but although I have no real idea how good he is he does seem to be in the top half of the ability level in the current field.

    The ‘Nakajima is little help in backing him up’ comment does have merit and I suppose it must be difficult to be No 1 at his age and ‘having the buck stop here’. However like the Mclaren situation the driver can’t carry the rest of the team if the car is also at times flawed and surely wunderkind Hamilton proves the point.

    The truth appears to be that more than ever before all the drivers seem to be on a knife edge at the current level of competitiveness on the grid and only as good as their last 2 or 3 races (e.g. BMW’s and Kubica down with the Force Indias and written off – although not Kubica – yet – but give it time – Oh yes and Kimi is now rubbish as well isnt he?).

    It is good to see the F1 world turned on its head this year but although I would not like to go back to the old days of Schumacher or Prost disappearing down the road every race am I the only one who finds it very hard to understand what the hell is going on so far as who is where in the race and how after 2, 3, or 4 stops it is all going to end – perhaps next years ‘economy runs’ may be more comprehensible.

    In the meantime it is good to see the ‘has been’ Button leading the title and lets hope he gets the title – sorry Rubens

  28. Prancer says:

    Interesting post James – I have been thinking about the Williams situation myself now for a while but am still firmly undecided!
    I mean if you compare them with another diffuser team – Brawn – they have a clear lack of experience.
    But was Rubens able to perfect the set up for Barcelona for example through greater experience or simply greater ability? Somebody mentioned Nico going well in Monaco. But in the rain last year he parked it in the wall, while Rubens finished 6th in his clapped out Honda.Greater experience or simply greater talent?
    Trouble for Nico of course is not fans like us having thoughts along these lines, but potential employers….

  29. pbyrne says:

    I’m somewhat mystified about Rosberg’s relatively high rating by many pundits. Nice guy, well spoken and his looks are a marketing man’s dream. He has a brain as well.

    But he’s just not top drawer IMO, not against the wealth of talent in F1 right now – Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica, Vettel. Could anyone honestly put Rosberg in the same league as these grafters? Not to mention Webber (who destroyed him as Williams team-mate) and Button.

  30. Clive says:

    Williams has always been pretty poor at race strategy – they win when the car has a huge advantage over the rest. The only driver to become champion in a Williams that was not the quickest car on the grid was Nico’s father, Keke Rosberg, and he did that in a year (1982) when drivers in other and better cars were sharing out the wins between them, thereby allowing Keke to amass points by sheer consistency.

    Nico is good enough to win if the team were to be a bit more intelligent in their race strategy. As has been pointed out already, the poor points haul so far this year is largely due to strategy errors.

    Nakajima’s case is similar. Everyone conveniently forgets that he is always fuelled heavy at the start, often put on a one-stop strategy, and inevitably in the midfield danger area for collisions as a result. The lad is actually much better than everyone supposes.

  31. RedGreen says:

    First of all: Excellent blog James, thanks for keeping us all informed about the aspects of the grand prix weekend that might otherwise go unnoticed by the regular followers (i.e. those without travel expenses and a pitpass!)

    With regards Rosberg and Williams, it pains me to say because I do like Nico, but he really hasn’t delivered the goods in the early part of this season. To echo what some previous posters have said, I can’t help but think that if Alonso had been in the car, Williams would have had several podium finishes by now. The pace seems to be in the car, so why hasn’t Nico translated that into solid points finishes? I agree that Kazuki isn’t much of a benchmark, but surely the mark of a great driver is to find the speed within themselves.

    I don’t think Williams are in the habit of replacing drivers mid-season but if I were Frank, I’d put a fire under Nico’s proverbial by replacing Kazuki with Adam Carroll…

  32. JB says:

    I would love to see Williams back on top. I wasnt following F1 back in the 80s or early/mid 90s, but this teams name is a legend, i really thing their place is amongst Ferrari and McLaren. But when I thing about seeing Rosberg or Nakajima on podium, winning races… I’m starting to feel ill. It’s probably completely irrational…
    But Williams need some revolution inside, and one of the things they can do for 2010 is take Cosworth engine and that way get rid of Nakajima – get young Senna instead.
    The team has a car almost that good like those from Montoya-Schumacher years, so they need drivers of Montoya size or close at least.

  33. F1 Legacy says:

    pbyrne don’t even mentioned the 2006 Williams season, that wasn’t a battle between drivers (Mark and Nico), that was a battle between both drivers and the car.

    If I remember well, they had over 20 DNF combine that season.

    :s

  34. Alan says:

    Too bad they can’t afford Alonso!

  35. Ruben says:

    Nico was great in GP2… came back mid season and dusted Kovi for the title… so let’s see him with a decent ride. Look what a decent ride has done for Button.

    Of the 2nd generation drivers I’d say Rosberg>Piquet anyday!

    I think Rosberg would give Hamilton a run for his money at McLaren instead of the lame duck Kovi is – but that’s what they wanted right? I guess we’ll never know until silly season 2010 starts.

  36. Peter H says:

    Nico’s been far too hyped since his f1 debut. He’s a midfield driver in my opinion, not top flight.

    After putting a scare up Webber by getting a fastest lap in Bahrain and then qualifying at the pointy end in Malaysia, Nico dropped off like a stone and Webber thoroughly trounced him the rest of the year. Since then, Nico’s only had Wurz (probably whom Patrick was referring to with his Boutsen comment) and Nakajima to compare Rosberg to, hardly benchmarks.

    I was flabergasted to read that Mclaren were seriously interested in Nico to partner Lewis at the end of 2007 – were they mad?

  37. James says:

    There’s been a consistent pattern to the weekends. Rosberg always runs well on the Friday, but does not convert on the Saturdays or the race.

    A simple observation though; Nico does appear to be quite aggressive with the wheel; I wonder if he’s overdriving the car. He’s undoubtedly fast; maybe with a bit of coaching and support he can really move upwards. In terms of sheer pace, the Willliams looks good enough for consistent top 5 finishes.

  38. Jon says:

    I think Nico is pretty talented, as he was pretty dam good in GP2.

    What i can’t understand is Williams very conservative approach to qualifying.

    The practice times show that they have a very quick car on soft tyres and low fuel, so why do Williams insist in fueling Nico 4 – 5 laps more fuel than the leading Brawns, Toyotas and RBs?

    Fuel him short, let him take pole (great for marketting & team morale), let him do some flying first 10 laps and bring him in for a good long middle stint

    Sure, this stategy has risks, but if Nico keeps the car on the grey stuff, then he’ll always get 2 or more points, but if luck favours him, a podium could beckon

    Both Williams and Nico have their faults this year, but its not past repair – they’ll need to gel and stop whining about each other and get on top of their car and championship and bring Williams back to where they should be – the winning circle!

  39. Northern Munkee says:

    I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he turns out to be driving with Lewis, or (and although I very much doubt it) instead of Lewis next year at McLaren, coming to his Lewis’ defence, in lie-gate as his friend (which I’m sure he is) but also serves to wave a big ‘I’m here, come and get me’ flag, I can be a team player for you, to me.

  40. nutsenf says:

    Rosberg may not be an absolute top notch driver in the mold of Alonso, Hamilton, and Raikkonen, but he’s clearly good enough to get regular points in a good car. Maybe his lap times were inconsistent in Barcelona for no good technical reason; maybe there’s a good technical explanation for his performance.

    What really matters is the big picture. And that appears to be–at this stage of the season–that Williams once again underperform through a good if not great car and poor pitwork and strategy. As a Williams fan since the early 80′s it pains me to say this, but quite clearly they are no longer a top team. Sam Michael has been around for a long time and he clearly has not delivered. They do not have anybody who appears to be able to develop race-winning (or at least place-gaining) strategies on a regular basis. Similarly, they don’t appear to have anybody on the pit wall who can think on their feet and adapt to changing circumstances like Ross Brawn and Pat Symonds appear to be able to. Through poor strategic planning and other reasons, they keep having to change engines. They seemingly cannot stop themselves from getting rid of perfectly good drivers (e.g., Mansell, Prost, Hill). I’ve been waiting for a tough investigative piece that sheds more light on what’s going on at Williams. Peter Windsor used to have such pieces in F1 Racing – I remember one on Jaguar Racing. Unfortunately, the realities of modern F1 appear to require most (all?) journalists not to fall out of favor with their anonymous sources…

    Perhaps the budget cap is their only hope to get back up to where they used to be?

  41. Nigel Smith says:

    Sir Frank needs to get on the phone to Rubens.
    Should Rubens decide that Brawn is favouring
    Button, and follow through on his threat,
    then a drive with Williams would
    be a good alternative to quiting F1.
    We know Rubens was relatively quick in
    last years ‘bad’ Honda car, and is not far behind
    Buttons in this years ‘good’ Brawn car.
    Put Rubens in this years Williams car, then
    we would have a good comparison for Rosberg’s
    true pace.

  42. Steve says:

    I think it is a good question about Rosberg, James. Over the last year, I have wondered whether the hype about him is justified. Last season he made a lot of mistakes, which prevented him from being on the podium more times than the two he managed. In some of the most chaotic races last year, it was often his more inexperienced teammate, Nakajima, that took advantage and brought the Williams home in the points. Rosberg seems to be making more mistakes again this year, in Australia he pushed too hard, too soon, on the soft tyres which meant he was a sitting duck in the closing laps, costing him a strong points finish.

    It is difficult to judge Rosberg’s ultimate ability because his teammate Nakajima does seem to lack any genuine pace, and it was a similar situation when Wurz was his teammate. They are both drivers Rosberg would be expected to beat. The only time when he had a very fast teammate in Mark Webber, Rosberg was put comprehensively in the shade, although you could argue Rosberg was only in his first season of F1.

    It would be good to see Rosberg either get an opportunity in a top car, or have a teammate who could really push him, as then we would know just how good he really is. As Button is proving this year getting a top car can really sharpen your focus, and perhaps the lack of results at Williams is frustrating Rosberg, and he is perhaps overdriving the car.

    Overrated or not, Rosberg and Williams are not realising their potential this season.

  43. selenato says:

    Interesting Read! Very detailed blog.
    Thanks for sharing

  44. floydthebarber71 says:

    didnt he only commentate during races? :P

  45. James Allen says:

    To be honest there are not a lot of options out there. Toro Rosso have this problem. Bourdais is clearly struggling but who to replace him with. There seem to be some talented kids coming through a few steps below, now in F2, for example, but they aren’t ready yet. And with F1 how it is now, you have to be able to turn up and perform – bang – straight away.

  46. has says:

    Yes, Hulkenberg consistently puts the Williams F1 car in a wall when they let him drive. He is consistent indeed.

  47. Jon says:

    Your recollection of events is way off in my opinion. For example, everyone made the wrong tyre calls in Sepang. However Nico slipped alot further back, after he was in a strong third place, while Webber for example charged fowards (on the same tyres as Nico). Nico lost out ALOT on the cars who did the same tyre mistakes as he did.

    Then China showed again, that either Williams or the drivers are lacking something in the wet. The fact that Lewis was up there in a bad car, shows it’s probably the drivers. Yes they made the wrong call to pit him at the start, but his pace through the whole race was dissappointing. Compare his progress through the field to Alonso, and while Alonso did make a mistake that cost him at least his pace was stronger (again in a bad car).

    It’s no coincidence that Nico seemed worse in the next two races, because there was no team errors (or rain) to pin the blame onto. And yes Nakajima is awful, but that’s no excuse for Nico.

    He’s a good driver, but there is alot of pressure on his shoulders at such a young age. If Alonso was in that Williams, in my opinion, you can be certain it’d be scoring more points.

  48. Jon says:

    Well if you think about the fact that they wanted a #2 driver, who doesn’t steal Lewis’s points, then maybe it doesn’t seem so silly to think about Nico. He’s be a great #2, it just seems he has a bit of a struggle leading the team. Unlike someone like Alonso who demands that it be this way.

  49. Antonis says:

    Well, they were mad enough to dump Alonso for Hamilton (aka the little liar), so why not??

  50. Josh says:

    not to mention both ferrari drivers dying/being seriously injured mid-season. Rosberg senior shouldn’t really have had it that year.

  51. alex m says:

    Thanks for reminding us Clive…..

    You have just reopened barely healed wounds from the Hill era, all to often Damon was unfairly made to look like a tactically naive chump by the intelligence of the Schumi/Brawn camp. People loved blaming Damon, but all to often it was SFW & PH that were at fault, I am sorry to say.

  52. Thomas says:

    James,

    Why don’t toro rosso give B. Hartley the seat and see what he can do?

  53. Dave H. says:

    Do you remember at the end of one of the final races of 2007, Williams made a point of saying “Congratulations to the two Toro Rosso drivers”.
    At that time Tonio Liuzzi was rumoured to be in talks with the team, there’s no reason why he wouldn’t be an option as he’s still around in the sport as currently a test driver.
    Having said that i still would rather see Nico in the car.

    And as for Toro Rosso this year, they should’ve chosen Taku in the first place over Bourdais. All they need do is admit they made that mistake and put it right.

  54. *Paul_W* says:

    Ant Davidson ;) Perfect for these KERS cars !

  55. Kenny says:

    How does thinking Nakajima is a lousy driver mean that we hate him? I don’t even know him…how could I possibly hate him?

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