Nico Hulkenberg tests the Williams-Toyota FW31 – Click above for high-res image gallery
The latest piece of the intricate puzzle that is the shake-up in drivers for the 2010 Formula One World Championship has come into play as Williams has confirmed its line-up for next season: Replacing Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima will be Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg.
Barrichello is a man who needs no introduction. The elder statesman of the paddock, Rubinho has won 11 grands prix and is set to hit the 300 race mark next season with Williams. This year he helped the Brawn GP team seize the constructors' title, after having raced for Jordan (now known as Force India), Stewart (now under the Red Bull banner), Ferrari and Honda.
Contrasting Barrichello's vast pool of experience, Hulkenberg will be one of the youngest and newest drivers on the grid. The reigning champion of the GP2 Series – whose winners always get F1 contracts the following season – the young German driver has also won the Formula Three Euroseries and the A1GP titles, and has previously served as Williams' official test driver.
No official word yet on where Rosberg and Nakajima will end up. With Williams switching to Cosworth power next season, they're under no further obligation to support Toyota's prodigy, who has since been overshadowed by Kamui Kobayashi. Rosberg, meanwhile, has been linked to a drive with either McLaren or Brawn GP for next season.
2010 Driver Lineup
02 November 09
The AT&T Williams team today confirmed that its drivers for 2010 will be Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg.
Frank Williams, Team Principal, said, "Rubens needs no introduction. He is not only the most experienced driver in Formula One, 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 Euroseries, Formula Masters, A1 GP and Formula BMW Germany."
nh He continued, "Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima remain our drivers until the end of 2009 and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their contribution to the team. Nico and Kazuki have represented AT&T Williams and our partners with dedication, discipline and skill and we wish them every success with their future endeavours."