Then came an opportunity to drive Ron Dennis’s ICI March in two F2 races. Rosberg won in Hockenheim and put the car on pole at Nürburgring by a ridiculous 4.5sec.
The timing was good. A month later James Hunt walked away from his Wolf Racing F1 drive and Rosberg was offered the seat. He combined F1 with CanAm races for Paul Newman in the USA and for the first time, things were looking good.
But the Wolf was not a great car and at the end of the year the team was sold to Fittipaldi. Rosberg came with the deal. It started well enough with a podium from 13th on the grid in Argentina but it was effectively two years in uncompetitive machinery. They included some tense moments, one prompted by going around the outside of Emerson Fittipaldi in front of his home fans at Interlagos!
At the end of ’81, while on holiday in California, Rosberg’s F1 life was changed by a phone call from Williams. Alan Jones was retiring unexpectedly. Would Keke like to come to Paul Ricard for a test? “I’ll swim there if I have to!” Keke replied.