Nico Rosberg insists he is “110% ready” to step up to Formula One and revealed he has already been guaranteed at least a third driver role at Williams next season.
The German, son of former world champion Keke, won this year’s GP2 Series whilst also testing for Williams.
They have a spare race seat after Jenson Button bought his way out of a contract, and Rosberg is favourite to beat off the claims of Antonio Pizzonia and an unnamed third driver, possibly Anthony Davidson.
Rosberg has no doubts he is good enough to step up to the race team but has already secured a role as third driver if he misses out.
He said: “Am I ready? Yes, definitely, 110% ready.
“I hope I am racing. I have proven I am worth it this year and I should be given a chance. We will see what they decide.
“It’s still between Antonio, me and another driver. At the beginning of the week Frank [Williams] said I will be one of the three drivers so at least I will be test driver next year and hopefully race driver. It will be decided in the next week or two.”
Williams is a natural place for Rosberg to make his Formula One debut, given his father won the 1981 world title in a Cosworth-engined Williams.
He is well aware of the similarities, adding: “I’m sure my dad is pretty proud. It would be very nice to race for Williams, it would be Williams-Cosworth-Rosberg. That was a world championship-winning combination 24 years ago so it would be very nice.”
The 20-year-old feels GP2 was the perfect grounding for his talents and, combined with a season’s testing, should give him everything he requires to succeed in Formula One.
Rosberg is confident he can succeed where 2004 Formula 3000 champion Vitantonio Liuzzi has so far struggled in stepping up the last rung of the ladder to grand prix racing.
“It’s been great this year because I have been given the opportunity to test for Williams,” he said.
“Together with GP2 it has been the perfect combination because in GP2 you have no testing so you race GP2 and you go off testing Formula One and get a lot of experience.
“I am not Vitantonio Liuzzi so I don’t think you should generalise. I don’t think it will be too difficult because after a lot of testing you learn a lot engineering-wise, understanding the car. I don’t think it should be too much of a problem.”
Rosberg confirmed he has signed a long-term contract with Williams having closed a get-out clause which allowed him to leave for 2006 and 2007 if he could find a race drive elsewhere.
“I feel very much at home and want to be part of the team next year,” he added.