A podium for Nico Rosberg and a sixth place finish for team-mate Kazuki Nakajima saw the AT&T Williams team off to a double points start to their 2008 campaign. In an incident-filled race with three safety car periods and only seven cars making it...
A podium for Nico Rosberg and a sixth place finish for team-mate Kazuki Nakajima saw the AT&T Williams team off to a double points start to their 2008 campaign. In an incident-filled race with three safety car periods and only seven cars making it home, Rosberg drove a clean, fast and confident race at the head of the field to his first Formula One podium finish in third place. Team-mate Kazuki Nakajma demonstrated calm and maturity to fight his way to some additional points despite being in the thick of the action further down the field. The team heads to Malaysia for next weekend's race in second place in the Championship standings with nine points. Unfortunately Kazuki will take a ten place penalty on the grid for the next GP for an incident during the last safety car period.
I am really, really happy and I have to say that being on the podium in Formula One is a really great feeling. It's been a while since I have been here and its great for the whole team as they have been working hard over the winter, they have done a good job and made some real progress. I gave everything I had today, but it was a tough race on a street circuit in the heat which didn't make it easy. The team deserves my thanks for this great result and it really encourages me to feel that I can grow with Williams. I also want to thank my father for everything he has done to help me to get to this position. We have a solid race car and some good developments coming, but we don't want to get too excited because it's early days yet.
To get to the end today was great, great to finish and great to get some points. It was really tough out there today physically, but on top of that there was so much going on. At the start, a car spun in front of me, turned side on and damaged my nose. Then with the various safety car periods, the team did a great job to swap my strategy to a one stop that put me in the points. Towards the end of the race, I had another incident when all the cars backed up into each other and I damaged my nose again. But it was good to be able to demonstrate my physical fitness and my consistency and I'm looking forward to Sepang which is a circuit I know better.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
It's a fantastic start to the season, we knew we had the potential in the car but didn't realise it because of the reliability problems we had in practice, but that all came out in the race. Nico kept his head down through lots of difficult situations, he had good strong car pace throughout the race and congratulations to him for his first podium. Kazuki did well too despite being involved in two incidents. Both cars had solid reliability throughout the race and it's great to go away with a haul of points from the first Grand Prix. After tonight we will look forward to Malaysia for better qualifying and build on our second place in the championship.