Nico Rosberg has been with Williams for three years, which constitutes his entire F1 career. His loyalty has been rewarded somewhat, with his status as number one driver in the team clear for all to see. However, the German driver has only had two podiums to celebrate in his short time at F1, and you could understand if he was tempted to leave.
Rosberg himself says he will be in a competitive car by the time the 2010 season rolls around, and admits that if it doesn't look like Williams will achieve this, then he will start searching elsewhere. That means 2009 is crucial for Williams to up their game, to hold on to their star driver.
It's not out of the question for Williams to become a prominant team. They have a history of being super competitive, with many world championships to their credit. The team have been in the sport for over thirty years, and have chalked up nine constructor's titles, and seven driver's titles in that enormous space of time. They are the only team left on the grid that exist solely to race, with no other product attached to try and market.
Nevertheless, their last title was in 1997, and over the last ten years the team have slipped slowly down the grid. In 2008, they were a mid-field runner, but there was no sign of them making the jump to the front of the pack.
2009 could see that change. It's an accepted fact that Williams have worked very hard on their KERS device, and are further forward than a lot of other teams on the grid. However, with the effects of the device unknown, plus the fact it won't be introduced straight away, it could just as easily swing the other way for Williams. Their new rear diffuser caused controversy with the other teams, who suggested it might be bending the rules a little too far. However, Max Mosley acknowledged that it was a very clever interpretation of the rules and was perfectly acceptable. Williams Technical Director Sam Michael is so confident that the design is good, he expects to see the other teams copy it in one way or another by the time the Australian Grand Prix gets underway.
With such a season of change upon us, it is Williams' chance to grab some glory, and with Rosberg eager to start winning, they need to make it happen.