Nico H?â??lkenberg confirms he is leaving Williams

2011 F1 seasonPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Nico H?â??lkenberg, Williams, Abu Dhabi, 2010

Nico H?â??lkenberg has confirmed he will not be driving for Williams in 2011.

In a statement on his official website he said:

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 H?â??lkenberg

H?â??lkenberg’s manager Willi Weber said his driver will stay in F1 next year:

I am negotiating with other teams. Nico will have his seat in F1 in 2011.
Willi Weber

H?â??lkenberg finished 14th in his first F1 season with 22 points to Barrichello’s 47. He scored his maiden pole position at Interlagos eight days ago.

But prior to that strong rumours had already emerged linking Pastor Maldonado, his successor as GP2 champion, to his seat in 2011.

Maldonado will drive for HRT in the young drivers’ test tomorrow and then for Williams on Wednesday.

On Saturday Williams chairman Adam Parr said the team had not yet decided on their driver-line up for 2011.

Amid claims Maldonado was being brought in because of his substantial financial backing from Venezuelan oil giant PDVSA he added:

We have replaced all the sponsorship we have lost and we are in great shape for next year. I actually feel more positive about the future now than I have done for the a long time even though, funnily enough, we actually turned a profit as a company every year for the last three years and we will this year and we will next year.
Adam Parr

Frank Williams said:

At Williams we have for many years tried to bring new talent into the sport, and we are convinced that Nico will go on to great things. We wish him well and hope that our paths will cross again in the future.
Frank Williams

Read more: list of 2011 F1 drivers and teams

Image ?é?® Williams/LAT

108 comments on “Nico H?â??lkenberg confirms he is leaving Williams”

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  1. I imagine Barrichello brings vast development experience that Hulkenburg just can not match. I expect Williams looked at the time gained over the season as a result of Barrichello’s input vs time gained as a result of Hulkenbergs input.

    I still haven’t quite got over Hulkenberg’s ridiculous and unpunished behaviour blocking and cutting the chicane lap after lap at Monza so I can’t say I’m bothered.

  2. HĂĽlkenberg lost his seat because he lacks money and Petrov will keep his thanks to them.

    Sometimes F1 can be really terrible…

  3. He showed his brilliant one-lap speed sometime this year but lacked consistency in race, which is one of the reasons he failed to secure his seat along with financial reason.

    Autosport has report he declined Williams multi-year deal including a loan deal to HRT, whose decision seem to be wrong because he needs to experience more f1 races under his belt and there is less opportunity to run a f1 machine due to test ban in season if he choose test driver role.

    He should secure a f1 seat even if the team is sluggish or he pays money to the team to survive in f1.

    1. Sounds logical for Williams to do that, although you would imagine they rather should have tried to get Maldonado to be loaned to HRT next year.
      But I would imagine, the Hulk is in with a chance of getting that HRT drive without Williams anyhow, if not a deal with Force India, Renault or Virgin. His manager is a pretty good deal maker, he proved that with both Schumachers (who would have imagined Ralf getting so good a deal from Toyota?).

  4. so what’s the point for maldonado still doing young drivers’ test with HRT when he’s already confirm for Williams seat next season?

    anyway good news for Barrichello, maybe 2011 is he last season…

    1. Get as much track time in a F1 car as possible? And he will value the Williams drive all the more after having a run in that roadblock of a car.

  5. I dont rate Maldonado a better driver than Hulkenberg, I dont know many (if any) who do. At the end of the day, this decision has boiled down to money and who has more. It’s a shame that a team with racing pedigree like Williams have to make decisions like this.

  6. I don’t see as they had much choice…

  7. As I said in the round up thread, I guess there will be a lot more to come in the silly season!
    Hulk to Proton-Renault? Test at Mercedes? Force India?
    Let’s see.

  8. Sadly this is the economic reality of Formula One. For a team struggling to make ends meet it’s better to take the certainty of sponsorship money over the possible “points-mean-prizes” money of a promising driver who delivers no cash up front.

    I’m actually amazed Weber hasn’t found enough sponsorship for Nico to warrant him keeping his seat. Maybe it’s the saturation of Germans in F1 at present but you would have thought a talent like Hulk’s could have found some decent backing.

    Anyway, my hope is that Hulkenberg finds a decent seat next year and doesn’t end up scrabbling around at the back in a Toro Rosso Virgin, Ex-Lotus or HRT. That sort of downwards step can set a career back years, if it ever recovers.

  9. Nico will have his seat in F1 in 2011.

    How certain is Weber of this? (Answers preferably in percentage terms)

  10. Is he replacing Webber at Redbull?

  11. Looked like his pole in Brazil had really confused Williams management, they completely didn’t expect it.
    Also, suspicious bad form now in Abu Dhabi. But I stop short here.

  12. Reminds me when they dumped Hill for Frentzen.

    Williams need stability to get the money in long term, not pay drivers. Shame, Nico was good fun.

  13. As a Venezuelan, I’m looking forward to seeing Maldonado in Formula 1 but I agree this was perhaps not the best way. Despite I expected more of him in his rookie season, I think HĂĽlkenberg deserved to keep his seat, but as some have already said, that is F1’s harsh economic reality and to race you need the money first. On top of that, Maldonado may actually be good, he’s no Yamamoto. So we’ll see.

    I hope The Hulk gets a good drive somewhere else. As I see it, I think he would be a good replacement for Liuzzi in Force India. I would give Petrov another chance (plus the money comes in handy) but I think Liuzzi’s chance is through. Too bad, he’s a likeable bloke.

  14. Such a shame they took money then talent.Nothing against Maldonado may be he do better then Nico in 2011 but they should have kept the recent line up.Renault may he his last option but I think Petrov did enough to keep his seat for 2011. Not sure where will he end up,may be a team like Virgin or Lotus but I don’t think that they promise too much in 2011.

  15. Why do people keep saying they needed to get rid of Barrichello?

    That’s just rediculous. Have you not been watching the races this season?!

  16. I hope he does stay around. He’s obviously caught the F1 bug. But I can’t see where he would end up.

  17. I am disappointed that Hulkenberg is leaving Williams, not just because I would like to see him stay at Williams but also because it looks like Williams didn’t resign him because they need a pay driver, which isn’t good news for one of my favourite teams. I have read that Williams wanted to sign Hulkenberg to a long term contract so maybe the situation isn’t as straight forward as it seems.

    If Williams need the money that a pay driver can bring, then deciding to resign Barrichello instead of Hulkenberg is the best decision as they need a driver with experience and Hulkenberg would not be ready to lead a team in 2011.

    Weber states that Hulkenberg will have a seat in F1 next year but if he can’t bring sponsorship with him I can’t really see where he will get a race seat next year, and as we know a test driver doesn’t get that much in an actual F1 car in modern F1.

  18. The Hulk to Red Bull? He would make a good No.2, as Vettel will definitely be the No. 1 at RBR now – stated or unstated!
    I see Horner shopping around for a No.2 driver as i dont think Webber will play ball. And Webber cannot possibly think he will have equal status with Vettel if he stays. If Webber stays at Red Bull, it is because deep down, he know Vettel is better than him.

    1. I dunno, Webbers the type of person who’d want to stay ar red bull and try to beat vettel to prove a point!

  19. I think he will go to Red Bull when Mark Webber announces he is not staying there.

  20. first part of season was horrible for him but then was really ok, see u on track in 2011 nico ;)

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