Guest Author - Christine Blachford
Williams have today announced that their driver lineup for 2009 will remain unchanged. Nico Rosberg had already been confirmed for next season, having his contract extended at the beginning of the year. He has consistently expressed a desire to remain with Williams and help them return to championship winning form. Now we know he will be joined again by Kazuki Nakajima for another season.
Williams have had a mixed year, with strong results at the beginning of the season, and a recent second position for Rosberg at Singapore. In fact, Singapore was a very good weekend for the current lineup, as they both got through to the top ten session in qualifying, and both finished in the points. Nakajima has been in the points a couple of times, although nowhere near as strong as his German counterpart. The pair are joined by test driver Nico Hulkenberg, and owner Frank Williams believes the team will do well.
Consistency is often essential for a team to build a strong and successful enterprise. Rosberg has been with the team since 2006, when he was partnered with Mark Webber. In 2007, he was joined by Alex Wurz, until Nakajima took over for the last race in Brazil.
He had been the team’s test driver for the 2007 season, finished tenth in the race, and despite a pit stop incident that injured a couple of mechanics, secured himself the race seat for this year.
Both drivers have a good racing heritage, with Nico being the son of ex-F1 driver Keke Rosberg, who also drove for Williams, and won a championship with them in 1982. Nakajima is the son of less successful F1 driver Satoru Nakajima, who raced for Lotus and Tyrell, but only achieved 16 points in his five year career.
So far this season, the team has scored 26 points and is sitting in 8th position in the constructor’s championship. Williams will be hoping to improve on this and regain competitive form, as the team has won 9 world championships since their debut in 1978.
With their lineup confirmed, Williams are already concentrating on 2009. They have invested heavily in the KERS technology, and are confident they have a good start to the new season.