Nico Rosberg started the 2008 Formula One season by scoring an unexpected third-place finish in Melbourne. But since then, things have stalled for the 23-year-old German, who has gone pointless in his last five races.
Rosberg hasn't had much to smile about lately
And the bad news kept coming this week for Rosberg, who drives for Williams-Toyota. Any secret hopes Rosberg may have harbored of joining McLaren-Mercedes in 2009 have been dashed by the news that the team has extended Heikki Kovalainen's contract for another year.
The son of former world champion Keke Rosberg remains confident, however, that he can turn things around at his current team, sooner rather than later.
"Otherwise I would not have signed up for 2009," Rosberg told DPA news agency in Budapest ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. "Yes, we have fallen behind. Red Bull, Toyota and Renault, who were able to compare ourselves with, are now simply faster."
No plans to switch teams
Rosberg doesn't believe the situation will necessarily change at the Hungaroring but sees the opportunity to gain points in the upcoming races.
"Everyone at Williams is working really hard and we also have circuits coming up that favor us," said Rosberg. "Budapest, Valencia and perhaps also Singapore. I think that we will run a couple of good races during the rest of the season."
Although Rosberg apparently has an exit clause in his contract that allows him to leave Williams at the end of the season if the team, as virtually certain, finishes lower than fourth in the constructors' championship, he says he is committed to staying where he is.
"I have a contract for 2009 with Williams so it is clear which team I will drive for," said Rosberg, who added that he doesn't "regret" the fact that McLaren didn't come in for him.
"That wouldn't help. I always look forward and try to make decisions that are right for me at the time," he said.
Waiting for his chance
"I am certain that my time will come and that I will be able to deliver wheel-to-wheel battles with Lewis Hamilton," he said. "Sometimes it takes a little longer than expected for the chance to go to a good team. You have to have patience."