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

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

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

  1. Arun.India said on 2nd November 2009, 14:36

    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…..

  2. 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.

  3. F1Outsider said on 2nd November 2009, 15:11

    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.

    • Yes! Right you are.

    • Terry Fabulous said on 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.

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

        • Terry Fabulous said on 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.

          http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2009/05/10/button-wins-again-with-the-old-two-stop-spanish-grand-prix-review/

          • Terry Fabulous said on 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.

      • F1Outsider said on 3rd November 2009, 2:40

        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!

        • Terry Fabulous said on 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?

        • Patrickl said on 3rd November 2009, 9:56

          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.

          • Dennis said on 3rd November 2009, 10:12

            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.

  4. Vincent said on 2nd November 2009, 15:32

    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.

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

  6. Xanathos said on 2nd November 2009, 17:00

    Keith, I’m pretty sure that Nakajima has only 36 starts. Did you count his friday-only appeareances?

  7. Brian said on 2nd November 2009, 17:13

    Williams with a Cossie! hahahahahahahah, they’re gonna suck big time! Teams using the Cosworth are gonna be at the back every race regardless of how good their drivers are. That is why I’m praying that Red Bull find a way to get a Merc or Ferrari Engine.

  8. gabal said on 2nd November 2009, 18:09

    It is a bit of a compromise line-up as Kubica and Heidfeld were also on the card here. Hulkenberg could be a great driver and I hope Barrichello will be motivated to fight next year.
    The biggest unknown factor for Williams next year is Cosworth engine but just the liberty to choose drivers must have been worth it to make a switch. Williams lost the fifth place to BMW (and possibly 4th to Toyota) by effectively having only one driver. Nakajima failed to score for 20 races in a row while his team-mate scored 34.5 points while failing to score in 8 races…

  9. Daniel said on 2nd November 2009, 18:30

    When Honda made that late 2008 shootout with three brazilians (Barrichello, Senna and Di Grassi), many people here were asking the old guy to leave and make room for one of the young talents… Me included…

    Luckily the team broke down, was sold to Ross Brawn and he, knowing what he had in hand, kept Rubens, who drove his best season to date, especially after solving the brake issue, winning twice when Brawn was no longer the best car on the field… sadly it seems that Rubens’ finest hours are with underperforming cars, like with Jordan in 1994, Stewart in 1999 (both were good midfield runners that Rubens put on pole and on the podium a few times) and even with Ferrari in 2003 (that was the ‘worst’ car of their winning spell from 2000 to 2004).

    It think Williams made the right choice to sign Barrichello and Hulkenberg, that will have the biggest experience gap in Formula 1 history between team-mates (285 starts or so x 0), and yet a very talented and promising line-up…

    What impresses me the most is how Rubens is still in love with what he’s doing… he’s much more admired outside his country than he is here in Brazil, probably because he was wrong to think he was capable of carrying Senna’s burden after his death, and it seemed he could, after two fantastic drives to 4th in Interlagos and 3rd in Aida (Pacific Grand Prix) in 1994, before that tragic Imola weekend, when he couldn’t start because he was the first victim and only survivor of that nightmare…

    • Victor said on 2nd November 2009, 19:33

      As long as you enjoy what you’re doing, you’re doing very well at what you’re doing, and someone appreciates that, there’s no reason to stop. That’s what Rubens is probably thinking now, and I can’t disagree with that by any means. :)

  10. Williams have, I think, chosen wisely. Rubens is a pretty level-headed bloke who is still very quick and probably won’t mind teaching a young, hungry driver (i.e. Nico) by example. I can see this driver line-up working fantastically well.

    Now all they need is a good car and engine and everyone will be happy :)

  11. Dorian said on 2nd November 2009, 22:19

    Quite right Alianora…

    They have a partnership of polar opposites. The uber veteran and a wet-behind-the-ears rookie, albeit with an impressive remume to boot!!

    I agree with many of the others in that Rubens still has some speed left in him coupled with the experience to bring Williams forward.

    Personally I cannot wait to see what Nico Hulkenberg can do. We haven’t seen such a prospect since young Hamilton hit the scene…

    • They have a partnership of polar opposites

      That’s right, but I think they have one thing in common: I’m pretty sure both will be racing almost for free.

      So, Williams will have a well balanced line-up for a few bunch of pounds, something quite wise given the circumstances.

  12. Dennis said on 2nd November 2009, 22:52

    This was indeed rumoured a long time. I think they made a very good choice! HĂĽlkenberg has been proven that he may well be the next big thing in F1 since Hamilton. He not only won 4 championships over the last 5 years, he also really dominated those series on an even more impressive way than Lewis Hamilton did by totally demolishing the competition and becoming the first driver ever to capture the title one race before the season ended (beating more experienced GP 2 drivers like Petrov and Grosjean). And with the experience of Barrichello at his side, it will not be the driver’s lineup that’s going to be the problem this year. I’m sure Barrichello can learn the youngster a thing or two and I’m very curious if he can keep up with him. Let’s hope that Cosworth can deliver a solid strong engine and that Williams can develop and design a good car as well. If they do, they might be a pleasant surprise next year. I still think Alonso in a Ferrari, Hamilton in a McClaren and Vettel in a Red Bull will be very hard to beat but a few podium finishes would be nice!

  13. Alpha said on 3rd November 2009, 0:51

    Good decent line up. But I serious have doubt in the Williams. I think this would be the Brazilian’s last team.

  14. wong chin kong said on 3rd November 2009, 2:05

    I would love to see Rubens beating the Brawns next year, at least once. That would teach them not to discount the oldest veteran in F1. Much looking forward to 2010, should be very exciting than this year.

  15. wasiF1 said on 3rd November 2009, 8:02

    Good news for the team they will have a Rookie & the most experienced driver in their team,hope they build a good car.

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