Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

Williams confirm Barrichello for 2011 - But no Hülkenberg // A change of driver lineup for the new Formula One season

Published by Christine

Rubens Barrichello will start his 19th season in F1 next year.
Credit: Glenn Dunbar/LAT

Moments ago, the confirmation came that Williams won't be running rookie Nico Hülkenberg next season, despite an outstanding performance by him in Brazil. We have been speculating over the future of the German for a while now, with three drivers linked to Williams, and only two spaces for them.

The split is somewhat amicable, with Hülkenberg confirming that they just couldn't come to an agreement over extending the contract.

I heavily regret that, because 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.

- Nico Hülkenberg

Nico created the surprise of the year at Interlagos, by placing his out-of-position Williams on pole. The race did not go to plan, and although he finished in the points, Sunday was nowhere near as impressive as Saturday. Nevertheless, the event raised eyebrows and it may help Hulk find a place for next year.

His manager, Willi Weber has confirmed that they are talking to a few other teams, so their options are open for 2011. Places at the top of the grid are limited, though, so where can Hülkenberg fit in?

Update: The team have now confirmed that Rubens Barrichello will drive for them in 2011, with the second seat remaining undecided for now. A statement issued by the Williams F1 team has team boss Frank Williams thanking Nico for his hard work and continuing:

We recruited Rubens to Williams knowing that he would bring technical expertise, experience and passion. 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.

- Frank Williams

When will they announce who driver number two is?