Williams CEO Adam Parr has rubbished rumours that Pastor Maldonado is simply racing for the Williams team as a “pay driver”.
Maldonado has joined the British based team alongside Rubens Barrichello, ousting popular German rookie Nico Hulkenberg. Speculation in the press had been that Maldonado could raise more sponsorship capital for the team and Hulkenberg, something Williams desperately needs as many of their main sponsorship deals come to an end in 2011.
“The guy just won the GP2 with a rookie team with more victories than anyone. The mere fact that we have to talk about it is absurd. It’s a shame, really,” Parr told motor21.com
Parr also had good words to say about former man Hulkenberg;
“I would like to see him at Williams again,” Parr explained.
“He has the dedication and the passion to be a great driver and I was so impressed with his maturity and professionalism.
“I hope he finds a position somewhere else but on the other hand I would like to maintain a relationship with him,” he added.
Williams have confirmed that Pastor Maldonado will be racing for the team next season alongside veteran Rubens Barrichello.
Maldonado, the current GP2 champion takes the race seat of recently released Nico Hulkenberg, the man who delivered the team its first pole position for 6 years at Brazil.
It will mark the first time in over 30 years that a Venezuelan has taken the wheel of a Formula One car.
“I feel very privileged that Williams has selected me as one of their race drivers,” Maldonado said. “It is a great way to end what has already been an amazing year for me.
“I tested with the team in Abu Dhabi, but can’t wait to start working with everyone properly to be in the best possible shape going into next year. I will be doing my best over the winter to prepare myself, and I know the team will be working hard to ensure a successful season.
“2011 will be the first time in nearly 30 years that a Venezuelan has driven a Formula 1 car so I will be looking to get some good results in return for the support my country has given me to help get me to this position today.”
Sir Frank Williams, team owner added:
“Pastor first caught my eye in 2007 when he drove a masterful race at Monaco,” Williams said. “Since then, he has regularly reminded us of his unquestionable talent with some skilful wins, particularly during this year’s GP2 championship, taking an unsurpassed record of six successive victories.
“Of course, we already know Pastor from the time he spent with the team at the Abu Dhabi test, but we are very much looking forward to developing his talent over
the winter and a fruitful season with him next year.”
Williams have announced that Rubens Barrichello will race for the team once again next season, but talented rookie Nico Hulkenberg will be leaving the Grove based team.
Barrichello, who is the most experienced F1 driver of all time, had a relatively successful season with the British team headed up by Sir Frank Williams.
“We recruited Rubens knowing he would bring technical expertise, experience and passion,” said Williams. “He has delivered everything we could have hoped for this season and we are delighted to confirm that he will drive for us again in 2011.”
Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg has told reporters he will be leaving the team. The young German, who gave Williams their first pole position since 2005, said he was disappointed to be leaving.
“I heavily regret that,” Hulkenberg said in a statement. “I would have been happy to stay with Williams.
“I want to thank the team for a great time and I wish Williams all the best for the future.”
Hulkenberg’s manager, Wili Weber says that Nico will have a race seat next season.
“I am negotiating with other teams,” Weber said. “Nico will have his seat in F1 in 2011.”
He has only a limited number of options for next season, so it will be interesting to see where he ends up racing.
Hispania and Williams have announced a partnership which will see the Grove based team provide HRT with gearboxes for the 2011 season.
Hispania joined Formula One this season and have experienced a difficult rookie year, with retirements and an off the pace car. They will be hoping for more luck in the next season with an as yet unnamed driver line up.
Lotus, a fellow 2010 debutant team, have already announced they will be using Red Bull gearboxes next year.
“This is a logical partnership, given Williams and Hispania’s mutual relationship with Cosworth,” explains Williams F1 CEO Alex Burns.
“Our gearbox technology has consistently proven itself as both competitive and reliable and hence this agreement will be a positive development for both organisations.”
Rubens Barrichello has declared that he hopes the Williams F1 Team offer him a new contract to race with them through the 2011 season, following a relatively successful first season with the team which has seen him score points in the last few races.
Barrichello is the most experienced F1 driver of all time, and should hit his 300th race this season having completed 297 so far (post Silverstone 2010).
He spent the last season with Brawn GP, finishing 3rd in the championship behind team mate Jenson Button. Previously the popular Brazilian drove for Ferrari, Honda and Jordan.
“I hope so. I think it would the natural thing,” Barrichello said of staying at the team.
“Obviously I haven’t signed any contract just yet. I am not talking to anybody else.
“As I said I think Williams would be doing the wrong thing if they were thinking of something else because they already put into the programme of next year so it would be a waste not to be driving.”
“Right now it is almost a waste of time not to have me in the car and driving,” he said. “In terms of speed I am performing better than ever and I think this positiveness is just making such a change.
“And people say well, you are not winning races, how can you be so positive? Well it’s because as a team you have got to believe as a team we’ll produce something that will put us back to the podium area, and then maybe next year make a good car that can effectively bring the first place.”
Meanwhile his teams technical director, Sam Michael, complimented the Brazilian on his fantastic job with the team so far this year.
“Rubens is doing a great job driving our development programme as well as delivering strong qualifying performances and race results,” said Michael.
“We are very satisfied with his contribution to the team as a whole and specifically with the role he is playing when it comes to which direction we take with the car.”
Sir Frank Williams whose team bears his namesake says that he feels not renewing mArk Webber’s contract for the 2007 season was one of the biggest mistakes he has ever made.
Williams, confined to a wheel chair since a horrific road accident near the Paul Ricard Circuit some years ago, employed Webber when he was fresh out of the failed Jaguar team. During that time the Williams team were not particularly competitive, and when Webber asked for more money along with a contract extension at the end of 2007, Sir Frank and assistant Patrick Head decided the best thing would be to let the Australian go.
Webber went to Red Bull, and had a good season in 2009, but this season he has been on fire winning the past 2 races in a row. Indeed things are looking so good, he is being tipped for the World Championship and potentially a race drive with Ferrari.
“Our car was not competitive, and we thought that Mark was part of the problem. To renew the contract for 2007 had requested an increase of engagement. We were reluctant to pay a large wage to him, partly because we lost our sponsor. Today I would say that it was still a mistake. ” Williams told Autosprint
“When he was with us Webber was very quick over one lap in the race but had a tendency to make mistakes.” Williams added
The first year with Red Bull behaved in much the same way, but in the second began to improve. But now he is running very well. “
Meanwhile the Williams team could be set to offer disgraced former Renault technical director Pat Symonds a lifeline job for the 2011 season as a consultant to the FW33 car. Symonds who was involved in the crash-gate scandal had a lifetime ban overturned recently in the high court along with former employer Flavio Briatore. Out of work since, the Williams team are looking for someone with a wealth of experience to help them build a competitive car for next season which could potentially have Renault engine.
The Williams F1 Team cars will carry the logos of charity Telecoms Sans Frontieres, a French charity following an agreement with title sponsor AT&T.
The charity provides telecommunications in disaster zones around the world to allow them to communicate with the outside world. They most recently provided relief during the Haiti disaster.
AT&T, themselves a communications provider were more than happy to provide the charity with the chance to get their logos on the car at the blue ribband event in the F1 calendar.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our charity in front of a global audience,” comments Jean-François Cazenave, the President and co-founder of TSF.
“Support from global organisations such as AT&T is so important to our mission to bring communications technology to those in real need. We have a long-standing and positive relationship with AT&T, which has helped our work so much.”
Sir Frank Williams, the owner and founder of the Williams F1 Team has said he believes the use and implementation of the KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems) onto Formula One cars will be vital for the future of the sport.
The KERS systems, which provide a power boost to aid overtaking from power retained and recycled from braking, were legalised last season and only used by Ferrari and McLaren, the leading two teams who struggled significantly with the systems. Indeed, the champions of 2009 Brawn and the runners up Red Bull Racing did not use the costly and heavy systems, systems which Ferrari say cost them the title.
For 2010 the teams in FOTA said they would not use the systems, and there has been a gentlemens agreement not to use them but it looks like they could be returned for 2011, with a compulsory sticker.
Williams invested heavily in a KERS manufacturing company and their cars carry a Hybrid Power logo, suggesting their work on KERS, which now appears on some high end road cars including the new Audi A8, is not finished yet.
“I’ve always believed that Formula 1 needs a totem, to avoid – which we have done so far – the attention of unco-operative members of the press who don’t follow Formula 1 very actively,” he said.
“I use the word totem, but to explain what I mean in very general terms – it’s quite the wrong word because KERS is a very meaningful thing for emission control and it does save power.
“It’s expensive, it’s difficult technically and it’s a big swallow, but sooner or later Formula 1′s going to get some aggro from one of these bodies that causes aggro.”
“We can’t use our own KERS because that’s a flywheel, which takes up more room, and the only place to put it is behind the driver,” he explained.
“If the fuel tank is three times the size it was two years ago, and you want to put KERS in it, you’ll have your car longer than a London bus… So we’ll use it elsewhere.”
Stefan GP have not been granted an entry into the 2010 Formula One season, and will not be allowed to compete unitl potentially 2011 as the FIA consider opening up entries fo the next season of racing to newcomers.
Stefan have already got a car and sent equipment to Bahrain, and despite USF1 not competing this season the Serbian outfit cannot take their place.
“Having considered the various options, the FIA confirms that it is not possible for a replacement team to be entered for the Championship at this late stage,” the FIA said.
“In the coming days the FIA will announce details of a new selection process to identify candidates to fill any vacancies existing at the start of the 2011 season.”
USF1 are listed as deferring their entry until 2011 on the list, and Sauber retain the BMW moniker at the start of the name while Campos become HRT as mentioned yesterday.
Official 2010 Entry List
1 Jenson BUTTON (GBR) VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES (GB) 2 Lewis HAMILTON (GBR) VODAFONE McLAREN MERCEDES (GB) 3 Michael SCHUMACHER (D) MERCEDES GP PETRONAS FORMULA ONE TEAM 4 Nico ROSBERG (D) MERCEDES GP PETRONAS FORMULA ONE TEAM 5 Sebastian VETTEL (D) RED BULL RACING (AUT) 6 Mark WEBBER (AUS) RED BULL RACING (AUT) 7 Felipe MASSA (BRA) SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO (I) 8 Fernando ALONSO (ESP) SCUDERIA FERRARI MARLBORO (I) 9 Rubens BARRICHELLO (BRA) AT&T WILLIAMS (GB) 10 Nico HÜLKENBERG (D) AT&T WILLIAMS (GB) 11 Robert KUBICA (POL) RENAULT F1 TEAM (FRA) 12 Vitaly PETROV (RUS) RENAULT F1 TEAM (FRA) 14 Adrian SUTIL (D) FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM (IND) 15 Vitantonio LIUZZI (I) FORCE INDIA F1 TEAM (IND) 16 Sébastien BUEMI (CH) SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO (I) 17 Jaime ALGUERSUARI (ESP) SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO (I) 18 Jarno TRULLI (I) LOTUS RACING (MAL) 19 Heikki KOVALAINEN (FIN) LOTUS RACING (MAL) 20 TBA HRT F1 TEAM (ESP) 21 Bruno SENNA (BRA) HRT F1 TEAM (ESP) 22 Pedro DE LA ROSA (ESP) BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM (CH) 23 Kamui KOBAYASHI (J) BMW SAUBER F1 TEAM (CH) 24 Timo GLOCK (D) VIRGIN RACING (GB) 25 Luca DI GRASSI (BRA) VIRGIN RACING (GB)
Nico Hulkenberg narrowly beat Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso on the second day of the final test in Barcelona.
The German driver did just under 100 laps as many drivers concentrated their morning runs on qualifying performance, and the afternoon on higher fuelrace based simulations with Bahrain being just 2 weeks away.
De la Rosa was 3rd with another impressive performance from Sauber, with Liuzzi showing the Force India pace with an impressive 4th.
Vettel and Alguersuari were close in 5th and 6th, despite the Toro Rosso now running its own chassis and aerodynamic package separate from the Red Bull teams, both ahead of Michael Schumacher in 7th however.
The new teams of Lotus and Virgin were still at the bottom of the timesheets however.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:20.614 99 2. Alonso Ferrari (B) 1:20.637 134 3. de la Rosa BMW-Sauber (B) 1:20.973 114 4. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:21.056 90 5. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:21.258 125 6. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:21.571 104 7. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:21.689 85 8. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:22.152 93 9. Kubica Renault (B) 1:24.912 53 10. Trulli Lotus-Cosworth (B) 1:25.524 70 11. Glock Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:25.942 52
Sebastian Vettel made the most of the poor conditions, slotting the new Red Bull Rb6 onto the top of the timesheets on the second part of the Jerez test, day 1.
The Red Bull Racing favourite slipped ahead of Lewis Hamilton in 2nd, and Felipe Massa in 3rd both drivers making good times given the conditions.
Pedro de La Rosa was 5th, lamenting the conditions but still ended ahead of Michael Schumacher. Paul di Resta got his first taste of testing, gaining 8th place in the Force India as he shared the cockpit with Adrian Sutil.
Lotus made their debut with the T127 and Malaysian driver Fairuz Fauzy getting behind the wheel with a solid day of testing, and Lotus declaring themselves pleased. Virgin looked to be struggling a little still, not finding their feet as quickly as Lotus.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:22.593 99 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:23.017 72 3. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:23.204 72 4. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:23.322 79 5. de la Rosa BMW-Sauber (B) 1:23.367 76 6. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:23.803 111 7. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:24.272 28 8. di Resta Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:25.088 74 9. Petrov Renault (B) 1:26.237 55 10. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:27.320 109 11. Fauzy Lotus-Cosworth (B) 1:31.848 76 12. Glock Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:32.417 10
The third day of the second test at Jerez was another washout, with Jaime Alguersuari coming out fastest after a scorching lap early on in the day in the cooler damp conditions.
Many of the drivers elected to do long runs on extreme wet tyres, with Rubens Barrichello clocking a massive 120 laps today.
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa did some long runs, as did Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton who was low down the times.
Lucas di Grassi got his first taste of the Virgin, which kept its wing on today, and also kept itself stuck to the bottom of the timesheets.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:19.919 76 2. de la Rosa BMW-Sauber (B) 1:20.736 58 3. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) 1:21.428 48 4. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:21.603 72 5. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:21.783 59 6. Petrov Renault (B) 1:22.000 68 7. Rosberg Mercedes GP (B) 1:22.820 53 8. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:23.217 120 9. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:23.985 68 10. di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:37.107 8
Kamui Kobayashi continued to prove the great pace of the new sauber car topping the time sheets on another cold and damp day in Jerez.
Buemi was also fast, as was Hulkenberg and Liuzzi.
Michael Schumacher was back int he car in his gleaming scarlet helmet, narrowly beating Fernando Alonso’s time as it seemed the front runners in Valencia were now doing long fuel runs.
Meanwhile Red Bull still launguished down at the bottom of the timesheets, following their ufnortunate break down yesterday.
But the catastrophic failure goes to Virgin, who in another day of running managed to have their car undress itself on the circuit. The front wing unit totally collapsed and Timo Glock had to crawl back to the pits, before Virgin announced they would abandon running due to a lack of parts. Not a good start.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Kobayashi BMW-Sauber (B) 1:19.950 103 2. Buemi Toro Rosso Ferrari (B) 1:20.026 121 3. Button McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:20.618 83 4. Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:20.629 67 5. Liuzzi Force India- Mercedes (B) 1:20.754 80 6. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:21.083 124 7. Alonso Ferrari (B) 1:21.424 129 8. Kubica Renault (B) 1:22.003 103 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:22.043 99 10. Glock Virgin-Cosworth (B) 1:29.964 11
Nico Rosberg was fastest on a very wet and cold first day of this weeks test in Jerez.
The German romped home in his Mercedes Benz. Sebastien Buemi looked impressive in the Toro Rosso, while Fernando Alonso the home favourite was down in 4th.
Vitantonio Liuzzi did over 70 laps in the new Force India, narrowly beating Vitaly Petrov’s time as he adjusts to driving Formula One cars.
Timo Glock brought out the Virgin into competitive running for the first time, after a series of installation laps his fastest effort was some 17 second a-drift of the best times.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m20.927s 57 2. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1m21.031s +0.104 84 3. Nico Hulkenberg Williams 1m22.243s +1.316 118 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m22.895s +1.968 88 5. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1m23.287s +2.860 55 6. Jenson Button McLaren 1m24.947s +4.020 68 7. Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India 1m24.968s +4.041 71 8. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m25.440s +4.513 27 9. Mark Webber Red Bull 1m26.502s +5.575 50 10. Timo Glock Virgin 1m38.734s +17.807 5
Felipe Massa kept Ferrari a-top of the timesheets in Valencia on the second day at the circuit.
The Brazilian, who is making a great comeback drive following his injury last season, was the only man to break into the 1.11s times.
He was followed by Kamui Kobayashi who proved the BMW Sauber Ferrari has some gusto if not the sponsors with another stellar effort, which was quicker than the McLaren of 2008 champion Lewis Hamilton who got his first taste of the new car today.
“It was a night and day difference and feeling compared to the first lap and the first test day in 2009,” Hamilton told reporters at the end of the day.
“I have a positive feeling. I’ve obviously kept a close eye on the development of the car and the results we got at the end of 2009 – so seeing this car evolve and having the input into it, I was very excited to get in the car today to see what parts we have improved.”
Robert Kubica did some long runs in the bumble-bee Renault, and scored 4th place ahead of Nico Rosberg who had the whole day to himself in the Mercedes.
Rubens Barrichello was 6th in the Williams on his second day with Nico Hulkenberg scheduled to take the wheel tomorrow.
Tomorrow is likely to be a very exciting day with 3 world champions at the wheel, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher and Jenson Button all star.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:11.722 124 2. Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari (B) 1:12.056 96 3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:12.256 108 4. Kubica Renault (B) 1:12.426 119 5. Rosberg Mercedes GP (B) 1:12.899 119 6. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:13.377 102 7. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:13.823 107
Felipe Massa eased Ferrari fans and technicians fears over the potential performance of the new F10 on day one of the Valencia test series by slotting the new car into first place on the time sheets.
Admitedly, it is the first test but Massa will be very pleased with his performance which was a few tenths of a second faster than his nearest rival.
That nearest rival was 38 year old Pedro De la Rosa, driving the new Sauber C29, and looking forward to his first season in Formula One since 2002. His time may have been inflated slightly due to his advanced testing knowledge after all of those seasons with McLaren, but nevertheless Peter Sauber will be happy with today’s performance.
Michael Schumacher came in 3rd, the German who has made his sensational comeback to Formula One with Mercedes Benz will be pleased with his times which were consistently quicker than team mate Nico Rosberg. The old master clearly hasn’t lost it, and said he was like a child with a new toy.
“In a way it is like 1991, honestly,” Schumacher told reporters after the test. “When I came into F1 I was shocked on the first lap and extremely excited on the second lap and further laps. And it is exactly the same today.
“I feel like a young boy that has a toy in his hands and enjoys himself.”
Paffett was 5th in the new McLaren, with Lewis Hamilton taking over the reigns from the former DTM champion tomorrow. Rubens Barrichello made 6th on his first Williams outing, and one breakdown.
The bottom two were Sebastien Buemi who showed pace in the new STR despite only a handful of laps, and Robert Kubica who was happy despite expressing some concerns over the narrower tyres and their effect on understeer.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:12.574 102 2. de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari (B) 1:12.784 74 3. M.Schumacher Mercedes GP (B) 1:12.947 40 4. Rosberg Mercedes GP (B) 1:13.543 39 5. Paffett McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:13.846 86 6. Barrichello Williams-Cosworth (B) 1:14.449 75 7. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:14.762 18 8. Kubica Renault (B) 1:15.000 69
Frank Williams and Patrick Head have both sold minority shares of their independent F1 team to an Austrian investment group headed up by businessman and amateur race driver Toto Wolff.
Williams denies that he will be leaving the reigns of the team that bears his name, instead focussing on the fact Wolff could bring plenty of sponsorship and good contacts to the team.
The amont sold is unknown and Toto Wolff was not decisive suggesting somewhere between 10 and 49%, we at TheF1Fanatics Blog reckon its closer to 10 than 49, so perhaps about 20%.
“I have no intention of stopping my involvement in this company or of ceasing my Formula 1 activities,” Williams said.
“I cannot stress highly enough that Toto is a minority shareholder. The company is still under my control and I will not relinquish control of the business until I go completely.
“It’s simply that I want to take care of one or two private needs. I’ve never taken a penny out of the business in 40 years and time is getting on a bit.”
Many of the Formula One teams have confirmed they will be testing an array of rookie talent from the world of lower formula’s at the forthcoming Jerez tests.
The tests take place over the dates 1st-3rd December.
Red Bull Racing will be testing British F3 champion Daniel Ricciardo, while sister team Toro Rosso will test Brendon Hartley and highly acclaimed Italian Mirko Bortolotti – the man responsible for beatingthe Fiorano lap record in the Ferrari F2008 last winter.
Ferrari themselves will be testing the cream of the talent from Italian F3, Williams take onboard a test for Andy Soucek his prize for winning the Formula 2 series.
Meanwhile BMW Sabuer will give two rookie’s their chance despite their depart from Formula One, with Alexander Rossi and Esteban Gutierrez taking the wheel.
Rubens Barrichello has visited the Williams F1 Team factory at Grove, Oxfordshire today to have a look around and to get to know some of the people who will help him fight for 2010 title better.
Barrichello took time out to see the factory and also walk the hallowed territory through the famous private museum. Both locations, I have visited (see: http://f1fanatics.wordpress.com/2009/07/23/my-day-at-the-williams-factory-thanks-to-philips/ ) and can vouch for their quality and brilliance.
“I am going to realise a dream, because ever since I saw F1 on TV for the first time, I have dreamed of driving for them,” Barrichello told O Globo the Brazilian TV channel this morning.
Rubens also revealed that he had contract talks with McLaren, and that he only had a contract for the first 4 races of the season with Brawn in 2009, with the rest of his contract being based on performances.
Meanwhile new team mate Nico Hulkenberg says he wants to match Rubens’ pace, and hopefully beat the veteran challenger on a few occassions.
The German GP2 Champion also pointed out he would be stupid to ignore the advice of a driver with so much experience.
“I hope that I’ll be on his pace right from the beginning and that I can match his speed and results – and maybe even beat him at some point!” 22-year-old Nico told reporters on Wednesday. “I just want to have the best team-mate I can get; one who’s quick, experienced and a good driver – and that’s what I see in him.”
Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg have been unveiled today as the new driver pairing for the Williams F1 Team for 2010.
Rubens Barrichello joins the team on the back of a strong season with Brawn GP, where he finished 3rd in the title standings fighting World Champion Jenson Button hard for the title and helping Brawn to the constructors title victory.
Nico Hulkenberg has just won the GP2 series, and also has won championships in Formula 3, A1GP and Formula BMW Deutschland.
Team principal Frank Williams said: “Rubens needs no introduction. He is not only the most experienced driver in Formula 1, but a passionate and talented driver who fought hard for the drivers’ championship this year.
“Nico Hulkenberg won the GP2 Championship this season as a rookie and has previously won the F3 Euro Series, A1 GP and Formula BMW Germany.”
Nico Rosberg now looks set to move to Brawn, and Kazuki Nakajima looks increasingly more likely to have no drive for 2010.
Nico Rosberg has confirmed that he will be leaving the Williams F1 Team at the end of the 2009 season in an exclusive interview with BBC Sport.
The German driver has only ever driven for Williams in his career which started in 2006 at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Since then, a mix of form has led him to 2009 his strongest season yet with 34.5 points in hand as he goes into the final race.
Rosberg admitted it will be with a heavy heart that he leaves the team, but is looking forward to finding a winning drive. This could either be with McLaren or Brawn GP.
“I’ve been with the team for five years;” the BBC report Rosberg as saying. “They’re the only team, I’ve worked with, [they] have really supported my career over these years and I’d like to say a very big thank you to them.
“There’s no reason why they can’t be as good as this year, but I’m not sure they can win races at the moment, and I would like to win races,”