Rubens Barrichello and Nico H?â??lkenberg to drive for Williams-Cosworth in 2010

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Bye-bye Brawn: Barrichello is off to Williams
Bye-bye Brawn: Barrichello is off to Williams

Williams will have an all-new driver line up in 2010.

As had been widely rumoured, Rubens Barrichello will leave Brawn to join the team. He’ll be partnered by reigning GP2 champion Nico H?â??lkenberg.

Barrichello will extend his record as F1’s most experienced driver, and should log his 300th start during the 2010 season. It will be his 18th season in Formula 1, but only his fifth different team.

Nico Rosberg has already declared he won’t be driving for Williams next year and it’s a safe bet he’ll move to Brawn for 2010 to partner world champion Jenson Button.

The news almost cetainly spells the end for Kazuki Nakajima’s F1 career after 41 starts for Williams. The Japanese driver is unlikely to gain a berth with backers Toyota next year as they’re already shaping up to keep Kamui Kobayashi.

H?â??lkenberg has had a stellar rise through the junior ranks with championship victories in A1 Grand Prix, Formula Three Euro Series and GP2. His career is handled by Willi Weber, who was manager to the Schumacher brothers, so expectations of him will be high.

He will now get to make his F1 debut alongside the most experienced driver in the game, offering him enormous opportunity both to learn his craft and to make a name for himself if he’s able to rival Barrichello.

Williams press release

AT&T Williams confirm Barrichello and Hulkenberg

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.?óÔéĽ?Ř

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.”

Barrichello and H?â??lkenberg

91 comments on “Rubens Barrichello and Nico H?â??lkenberg to drive for Williams-Cosworth in 2010”

Jump to comment page: 1 2
  1. Richard Evans
    2nd November 2009, 12:22

    Great team mate for Nico’s first season, look how he helped button to the title, lets hope patrick head and the rest of the team don’t make a useless car.

    1. Agree. I think this will be a good relationship, especially with the kind of car Williams usually build. Whether Cosworth can be relied on remains to be seen!

      1. i have my doubts over cosworth, but would love to see them prove my skepticism wrong..

  2. The worst kept secret since “Alonso is moving to Ferrari” has finally been confirmed!

    1. Except this one hasn’t been brewing for three years.

  3. That actually looks like a very good line up. Barrichello has so much experience he’s bound to come in useful, and I really rate Hulkenberg- I think he could be up there at the top in a few years time.

    The only real problem for Williams next year is their engine- I can’t help but see a move to Cosworth as a step backwards

    1. Richard Evans
      2nd November 2009, 12:40

      Anything has to be better than that useless engine toyota provided. Cosworth is an unknown quantity, they could surprise us all.

      1. The Toyota team got a few podiums out of that engine, more than Williams did.

    2. Ned, this whole thing on Cosworth, is that…They have not yet “frozen” their engine development before the FIA like the existing ones, so they have a “freebe” as to developments and HP’s…

      1. But the other team’s engines have been developed during the engine “freeze” as well. I think Cosworth will have a LOT of catching up to do.

        1. Cosworth may be able to make an engine with similar HP to the others. However, one has to wonder how reliable they will be.

      2. The Mercedes engines are hard to beat.

    3. Best of all for Williams, is both drivers will be cheap! The car was good this year, but Rosberg seemed to be inconsistent with it, ‘chello will be able to prove his set-up ability, and Hulk will be on fire in his first season. The Cosworth name is easily as famous as Ferrari, and they will have a point to make….

      1. Rosberg is so over rated, crunch time next year..must score a few wins. Or he may find himself as a Ferrari test driver…or worse

  4. Quite a solid line-up, and it will certainly be very useful for Hulkenberg in the future to have Barrichello as a reference point, but I can’t see them getting into the top 4/5 teams next year.

  5. Watch out for 3rd race of the season.

    1. Why is that so? I suppose there is something to do with Hulkenberg and Sepang as he has raced there in A1GP and won it?

      1. No! The last time a Brazilian drove for Williams, something terrible happened in his third race :( It would be a fitting tribute if Barrichello wins the third race of the season & hope he is joined by the great-man’s nephew at least once on the podium.

        1. mp4-19b > my goodness me, do you think before you type?
          You normally speak trash but this time it is way over the top….

          Please don’t…
          It wouldn’t be a tribute, it wouldn’t even be good to reminded.

          Remember the man forget the rest.

          1. What did I say wrong? I said ,it would be a fitting tribute if Rubens won at Bahrain!! Nothing wrong with that! Nothing wrong in Bruno joining him on the podium. What’s wrong with that? Perhaps you misunderstood me.

        2. really? last time a brazilian drove for williams was pizza boy in 2004

          1. I know that. He was substituting for injured Ralf. But he didn’t feature in the starting races.

        3. Pizzonia drove for Williams (badly), and the 3rd race is Malaysia, not Bahrain.

    2. another insightful comment from mp4 there!

  6. This is their strongest line-up since Webber left. Rubens was dynamite at Valencia and Monza – if Williams can get the brakes right for him, he’ll be up on the podium at least once.

    Rubens even has experience of F1 before fuel stops, he’s been around so long! We’ll see whether this counts for anything.

  7. While obviously it’s not the best overall line up it’s a probably one of the best experience and youth combinations possible.

    I just hope Williams can build a good car and the Cosworth engine turns out to be a surprise package, as I would love Williams to be at the front again.

  8. i like he lineup, however i hoped that despite the heavy romors, Rubens could stay at Brawn, but Williams is the team that he could show his worth, like in Stewart in 1999.
    if i was Toro Rosso boss, i would sign a similar experienced driver to team up with Buemi for next year. that’s the right way for Williams, and for the smaller teams aiming for more.

    1. I’m not sure if Toro Rosso have any choice in the matter. They might have to continue signing rookies who don’t know which pit box to stop at.

      1. On the Abu Dhabi GP I saw Alguersuari entering on the wrong time at the pits. My question. The team ordered him to proceed and not stop because Buemi was 10 secs behing him, or did he actually stopped at RED BULL’S PIT?? instead of toro rosso’s?

        1. He wrongly stopped in the Red Bull pit. They hastily waved him out the way as they were waiting for Vettel.

          Toro Rosso should wear different colour overalls. Maybe they should all wear the gold version that their refuelling guys wear, seeing as they won’t be wearing them next year.

      2. :D !
        right. yeah, if we just scroll through the previous drivers…

        Liuzzi (4 GPs – age 25)
        Speed (0 – 23)
        Vettel (1 – 20)
        Bourdais (0 – 29)
        Buemi (0 – 20)
        Alguersuari (0 – 19)

        yeah, it’s seriously seems to be that Toro Rosso is degraded as Red Bulls kindergarten, and it’s seriously not working. last year they had the luck to have signed one of the talents of the decade, but none of the current Red Bull drivers seem to be replaced sooner or later, this way 1 new driver a year would be enough to “train”, and the other one could be an experienced driver, develoing the car, it could be useful even for Red Bull as well. i could imagine Fisichella for example, experience is given, he is still fast, and if he could test his car during the winter, he could perform much better, he could stress-test the Ferrari engines as their reserve driver, and this could be his return to the fellow-Italian team he made his debut in F1 back in 1996.

        (sorry for being so tendentious :)

        1. It’s a shame really. They beat the big brother team last year and they definitely seem to have had their wings clipped this year, and forced to have newbies as usual.

          It was nice to see the guys at Minardi get their first win even under a different guise, but this is a degrading relationship. The ironic thing is that it’s also detrimental to Red Bull’s interest to hold their sister team back.

          1. How are Toro Rosso even allowed to be a separate team? They run the same chasis for god’s sake.

            With so many teams trying to get into F1 next year, Toro Rosso should be either red bull or something else – but not in between.

        2. Hell no to Fisi, how dare you even mention it LOL we were just about to get rid of him finally.

  9. I think that Williams are improving. The problem is that sometime their drivers don’t take advantage of some good qualifying positions and don’t capitalise on them in the race. Rosberg has done well this season, and Nakajima has had some flashes of brilliance (he was running fourth in the early stages of the British GP) but often fail to capitalise.

    Barrichello has shown that his determination is still there, and that the decision to sign him is a good one. It’s a shame that Rubens isn’t still with Brawn, as if the BGP002 is the same as this year’s car, then he would surely have a chance to win the title in 2010.

    But then again, Williams could give a big surprise next year, and I hope they do, and that a return to Cosworth should not be frowned upon, as the updates will continue until they get that engine right, and we all know that Cosworth is the best F1 engine manufacturer out there, so Williams is going to get more interest from me in 2010.

    I hope they do well. Race wins for Williams in 2010 is a serious prospect.

    1. From your mouth to God’s ears… I really hope they have a winning for Rubens, or at least a competitive one, so he can have somoe solid races and end his career with dignity.

      I doubt Rubens will race past 2010, but we have been proved worng once before. It’s a shame really, that his story in 2009 wasn’t told more often… how we considered a retired driver and no one placed him in a team (he even considered stopping becuase of a lack of options), and yet he won two races and drove a solid championship, a really inspirationl career turnover (the same could be said for Button also).

  10. I’m excited about this driver line-up. I really like Hulkenberg and can’t think of any better team mate to help shape him as a future F1 great than Rubens. I hope Williams manages to build a good car for 2010 as this could prove to be a really strong team.

    1. Totally. With the flywheel KERS that’s been in development for the past 18 months they may just have a brawn-esque rocketship on their hands! Forza Williams!

  11. I love Rubens passion and am looking forward to seeing him on the grid next year. Lets hope the remaining teams will release their driver confirmations soon…

  12. Good news for Williams, i mean they have the best of both worlds. Loads of experience with Rubens in setting up the car and new blood eger to show what he can do.

    Will be interesting.

  13. Good for Rubens (I hope Williams will be up front)

    If Button leaves Brown, I’m seeing the 2009 winning team desperatly searching for two drivers…

    And if one is Rosberg, it’s a big stem down from Rubens – sure, he’s younger, but not as goos as Rubens.

    I think Brawn is not as easy as the news say about money – there is no other reason for not renewing already Button’s contract… And he won for them the championship for peanuts, paing for his own trips and all…

    Any move Brawn will make it will be wrong – the right one was the stick with both drivers that have him the titles.

  14. I would like to know when the deal was made. Those rumours have been out since Monza.

    Hulkenberg isn’t British, at least.

    1. How on earth does that matter and how is it beter that there will be yet another German driver in F1? It’s not like we don’t have enough German drivers in F1.

      1. Nothing against german drivers, but your post did raise a good question; how many different nationalities were represented by drivers in this decade, and how many did each country have?

        By my counts, only 6 british drivers competed in Formula one in the 00’s (Coulthard, Button, McNish, Ralph Firman, Justin Wilson, Hamilton). Do you have that stat Keith or is it too much?

        1. Also Davidson, Irvine and Herbert. But Firman is Irish I believe, so that makes 8

          1. He is irish now although when raced for Jordan he was representing the UK.

            by my counts, Germany had seven drivers (Schumacher brothers, Heidfeld, Glock, Sutil, Vettel Rosberg).

            Out of the big formula one nations then, Brazil had the biggest number, with ten drivers. Do you have the stas Keith?

      2. Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against British drivers and I am not favouring German drivers.

        The thing is that, for this season, Rubens initially signed a four-race contract while his British team mate signed a full year contract with a British team that had a British sponsor afterwards. And some people still try to convince me they had equal opportunities. Ok…

        If HĂĽlkenberg was British a similar situation would occur… But I may be wrong, because a British driver won’t make any difference. I think that Cosworth engines will only contribute to sink the team again, so they won’t have any advantage to administer. Any favouring will be useless.

        By the way, I am Brazilian.

        1. Well Brawn probably thought Rubens wasn’t as good as Button. Rightly so I would say seeing how Button won the WDC and Rubens only came third.

          1. or strange pit strategies that changed mid race to favor Button….

        2. By the way, I am Brazilian.

          Might explain the disdain for british drivers.

          Here’s the question raised by a Frenchman: How many French drivers? (Panis (2000),Alesi (2001), Grosjean (Half a season) , Bourdais, Montagny (7 GPs)). If you add all the French participations of the past 5 years, you hardly get to 40 starts… But hey, looking back at Grosjean and Bourdais, we’re probably not good enough (Thank you Loeb!)

          1. Might explain the disdain for british drivers.

            Perhaps I was too succint, because you misundertood something.

            As I said, I have no problem with British drivers. Indeed, my favourite is Hamilton.

  15. Prisoner Monkeys
    2nd November 2009, 14:28

    Good line-up. I think Sir Frank, Rubinho and the Hulk will make for one of the tightest teams in Formula One appraoching Vettel/Red Bull and Hamilton/McLaren levels of camaraderie.

    1. I have this strong feeling that Rubens at Williams will really perform well. FW31 was a decent car with sound aero. Cosworth is an unknown entity & I’m sure they would have learnt their lessons & sorted out their reliability issues & read somewhere that it could give Merc a run for its money in terms of Horsepower. Above all, its time for Williams to come over to where they belong. One must not remember that they are the second most successful team after Ferrari with 9 WCC. McLaren have 8. I would to see a three way battle between McLaren-Williams-Ferrari. Legends of the sport.

      1. I think Williams are making steps forward recently. They still have a long way to go but this line up is excellent in my view.
        Feel bad Rubinho lost out his Brawn seat however, he is as good as Nico in my view.

      2. I like it. Reubens is solid and the young hulkenberg seems to be the class of the new kids. If williams can get the car half competitive then we may see a return of the williams to the top. I would like to see that.

      3. There was nothing wrong with the Cosworth engine in 2006. It was the most powerful by far, and one of the most reliable. Unfortunately, it was Williams that made the engine look unreliable with their gearbox and elctric gremlins. Think Red Bull and Renault engines…..

        The biggest problem for Cosworth will be the fuel consumption. Williams could be running around with a car 10kg heavier than the Ferrari/Mercedes/Renault engined teams.

        Also, Williams’ partnership with Cosworth is more than engine supply. This is about securing serious money for the future of Williams by diversifying their income stream. Flywheel KERS, gearbox design and probably alternative fuels, all designed to market outside F1. And their partnership in Qatar will probably have some Cossie people hanging around too.

        I’m personally delighted at the line-up for Williams next year. Having an experienced (winning) driver who knows how to qualify versus a young hot-shoe is extremely exciting. Bring on “New-Nico”! I’ve been following him since A1GP, and I think his debut season will be Hamilton-esque. Poor Rubens will get thrashed, but he’ll be there to pick up the pieces when inexperience intervenes. That’s a big part of what Williams has been missing for years. Let’s hope they can get the car right next season.

        My two cents.

  16. Its a good line up….The only thing is hope they make a decent car and it can get on a podium at least a couple of times…..The last time williams cosworth was there they had a useless car.The advantage is that engine freeze is yet to happen…..

  17. Looks like Rubens will have his 300th GP start with Williams. He still has plenty of enthusiasm and talent to give. It would be nice if Williams could give him a good car for 2010. Doubtful though. Has it been revealed if it is a 1 or 2 year contract? Hulka is a question mark isn’t he. However, Williams doesn’t really need someone that will go through a “learning” year of F1. They need someone that can hit the ground running. Hope he is up for it or else we will be looking at another Grosjean.

  18. It seems Rubens is an easy guy to gel with, so long as Williams doesn’t try to pull stunts on him like Brawn did back in Spain.

    He will do well with the team and help the develop the car and bring in good results so long as they allow him to set up the car to his liking.

    I remember his first year at Honda was dismall because he was having a very hard time adapting to left-foot braking. Once he got past that though, he routinely outqualifed Button as he did this year.

    1. Yes! Right you are.

    2. Terry Fabulous
      2nd November 2009, 21:58

      Hi F1Outsider
      What stunt at Spain?
      They were on the radio telling him what he needed to do to win the race, he didn’t do it and he lost the race.

      1. Didn’t the team switch Jenson’s pit strategy to get him around Barri, ’cause he could’nt get around him on his own?

        1. Terry Fabulous
          2nd November 2009, 22:57

          No, they didn’t, Ruebens wasn’t fast enough to make it work.

          To quote KC

          “Barrichello had a slender 1.3s lead over Button by the time the Briton came into the pits on lap 18. Having originally planned a three-stop strategy the team now moved him one a two-stopper, having noticed Nico Rosberg’s Williams was 18.6s behind and due to stop much later.

          Barrichello remained on a three-stop strategy and this decided the outcome of the race. He came out of the pits ahead of Rosberg, and quickly pulled away from the fuel-heavy Button. Barrichello return to the pits on lap 30, with Button 13.5s behind.

          Had he continued that rate of progress in his third stint he would have had enough time in hand to complete his extra stop and stay in front of Button. But Button’s lighter BGP001 was now lapping quicker, and Barrichello found his third set of tyres were off the pace. After his final pit stop on lap 50, he ended up 7.1s behind Button.

          1. Terry Fabulous
            2nd November 2009, 23:02

            I admit that with the clear vision of hindsight, Button had the best strategy and the one that looked easiest.

            However, this is not some A-Ring fiasco with someone belting poor Rubens ar

            ound. Both strategies COULD have worked. Don’t forget that some of Ross Brawn’s tactical masterstroke involved shifting Schumi onto 3 or 4 stop strategies.

      2. By stunt, I meant changing Button’s strategy without letting him or his engineer know beforehand. They had agreed before the race that both drivers would be a 3 stopper. That’s what he was mad about, not being advised that he could change the strategy if he felt it was needed.

        You don’t have to agree with me. Barrichello himself admitted it live on Brazilian radio today that his negotiations with Williams started immediately after the Spanish Grand Prix. No coincidence there!

        1. Terry Fabulous
          3rd November 2009, 8:50

          Really! I didn’t know that…

          He certainly was peased off after that race.

          But do you think that Brawn changed Jenson’s strategy to get him out away from Nico, or to play a trick on Rubens?

        2. This whole conspiracy nonsense is getting sooo old.

          Do you even realize that both drivers have their own race engineer?

          Suggesting that Rubens could decide to change the stratey while busy racing is simply absurd. Drivers get TOLD that their strategy is changed.

          How would Rubens know upfront that changing strategy would work out better? How does he know where all the other cars are?

          Utterly absurd.

          There were circumstances why they needed to change Button’s strategy (Button getting stuck behind another car) and they changed it. Simple. Nothing sordid, simply circumstances.

          They left Rubens on what they all thought was the optimal strategy. Rubens simply didn’t make it work because he couldn’t get the tyres to work in one of his later stints.

          You could blame Brawn for getting the preferred strategy wrong, but you cannot knock their intentions. They (and especially his own race engineer) were working on getting Rubens a win.

          1. We’ll see next year. I for one wouldn’t be surprise if HĂĽlkenberg torched Barrichello after the first three races or so. I think Barrichello is a reliable driver, but the pure raw speed is a bit lacking. This is the reason he’s not the first driver in most teams. Sure with Schumacher he had a contract. But now with Button, a good driver sure but no Alonso/Hamilton/Vettel/Raikkonen, he couldn’t really get close to him in his dominant streak. Let’s see how he matches up against HĂĽlkenberg, the history of the kid is more impressive than Hamilton’s and we all know what he’s capable of.

  19. It seems so far, if we are convinced that Kovy will not be at McLaren, that for next year only one team (possibly 2) will have the same line-up as this year: Red Bull. Only their little sister team is the other possible team sticking with both drivers.

    That sounds pretty interesting to me. Especially after a year where there were nearly no shifts in between teams.

  20. Anyone know where I can watch the BBC F1 Forum for Abu Dhabi as I missed the first part?

      1. Yeh cheers for that – they’ve just put it on.

Jump to comment page: 1 2

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

All comments are moderated. See the Comment Policy and FAQ for more.