F1

Williams confirms Rosberg as race driver for 2006

Williams confirms Rosberg as race driver for 2006

Williams confirmed on November 3rd that Nico Rosberg will race for the team next season, alongside Mark Webber. The announcement comes as no big surprise as Rosberg and Antonio Pizzonia appeared to be the only serious candidates and Pizzonia...

Williams confirmed on November 3rd that Nico Rosberg will race for the team next season, alongside Mark Webber. The announcement comes as no big surprise as Rosberg and Antonio Pizzonia appeared to be the only serious candidates and Pizzonia said earlier this week that he doubted he would get the Williams seat and was in talks elsewhere.

Nico Rosberg.
Photo by xpb.cc.

"I believe I am one of many in Formula One who is genuinely excited about the prospect of Nico Rosberg," said team boss Frank Williams. "Given the attention he commands, I am delighted he has signed with us for next season."

20 year-old Rosberg has been testing for Williams on a regular basis this year and was firmly on the list as a replacement for Nick Heidfeld once the German announced he was moving to BMW for 2006. Rosberg competed in the GP2 series this season and became champion in Bahrain in September.

"For quite a few years, I kept a number of options open, such as continuing my education, but this announcement is the validation after ten years of racing that I have chosen the right direction," said Rosberg, who will commence his duties with Williams at the start of the team's winter test programme at the end of this month.

"Winning the GP2 title this season, especially given the competition, was a satisfying achievement, but of course this development is the crowning glory of a great year. I am really looking forward to starting work at the end of this month and learning as much from the team as I possibly can."

Rosberg became the youngest ever driver in an F1 car when he tested with Williams for the first time in 2002. Nico was born in Germany and races under the German flag despite having a famous Finnish father, Keke, who was F1 champion in 1982 with Williams.

Rosberg's signing means the 2006 driver line up is nearly complete. Midland, previously Jordan, this week confirmed Christijan Albers as one of its race drivers for next season, which leaves one vacancy at the team. Barring any surprises, that just leaves Red Bull and Toro Rosso to announce the allocation of their already-signed drivers to teams.

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