Rosberg was always F1 champion material – Williams

Claire Williams says it was “pretty clear” from Nico Rosberg’s rookie Formula One campaign with the Grove-based team in 2006 that the German had what it takes to become world champion.

It took 11 seasons and 206 grand prix starts for Rosberg to win his first world title, with the 31-year-old announcing his shock retirement from the sport five days later, ahead of the annual FIA Prize Giving ceremony in Vienna, Austria.

Since then, the debate has been raging on whether Rosberg made the right call in bowing out of F1, as part of the argument over the worthiness of his title.

“I remember when he started his career at Williams as I was his press officer at the time and they were doing a shoot with Nelson Piquet and it was nice with Nico there” Williams was quoted as saying by

“From that point on he has been absolutely charming and is a great ambassador and a great all-rounder for the sport so I think it is a really well-deserved world championship.

“I think it was pretty clear; You know when certain drivers come to you and whether they are champion material and he was.

“For him, I think I heard on Sky he had won 23 races the highest number of races without winning a championship, but then you have drivers who win championships on less wins than you have ever heard of or could win one.

“He has done a great job and done everything he’s needed to do. For him it probably feels like a long time in the making but he is a truly deserving world champion and I am so pleased for him.”

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