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

2011 F1 season

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

Advert | Go Ad-free


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

  1. 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.

  2. John H said on 15th November 2010, 12:18

    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.

  3. Gaston said on 15th November 2010, 12:20

    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.

  4. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 15th November 2010, 12:25

    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.

  5. Dan Selby said on 15th November 2010, 13:08

    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?!

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 15th November 2010, 13:15

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

  7. 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.

  8. Kbdavies said on 15th November 2010, 13:21

    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.

  9. SoerenKaae (@soerenkaae) said on 15th November 2010, 14:49

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

  10. Michałek said on 15th November 2010, 15:24

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

  11. Michałek said on 15th November 2010, 15:33

    why everybody are worrying about the future of nico?
    he is not as good as you think, but drove well in williams (second part of season). it`s apparently his decision to leave williams :)
    i suppose that he find seat as a test driver or in poor team like hrt :) but malando grabs that seat before him, hihihi :)

  12. schooner said on 15th November 2010, 16:26

    Not that I expect Schumacher to be giving up his ride, but it seems to me as though the Hulk might be a good fit over at Mercedes. Even perhaps as the “test” and reserve driver for a season or 2. Schui isn’t gonna be there forever. That said, I think he’s shown that he deserves to be a full time (salaried!) F1 driver, and it would be a shame not to see him on the grid with a quality team next year.

  13. Electrolite said on 15th November 2010, 17:31

    None of us are in a position to judge if this is a ‘bad decision by Williams’ or not. For all we know he could have had offers from other teams whom Weber maybe deemed giving the guy a more promising future. I know this is a little obvious but people seem to be missing this.

  14. Younger Hamilton said on 15th November 2010, 18:07

    I wasnt expecting that i cant believe it what a great driver and great meaningful season for him.I hope Nico succeeds in the team he goes to but what he needs to sort out is his temper he gets angry really quickly seen during the race at Valencia and Singapore Qualifying

  15. I see Nico joining Force India along side Sutil because im pretty sure Liuzzi’s time is up on that team. I also don’t see Petrov leaving Renault for next season bcuz of all the Russian sponsorship/money he’s providing Renault, and if i was Sir Frank Williams i would give Bruno Senna a shot at joining the team.

    • You had me until the Senna bit. Senna is rubbish.

      Maldonado is going to flop, in my opinion. I haven’t seen any particular brilliance from him. I just hope Sir Frank knows how to deal with the heat from Caracas when Chavez’s golden boy is getting trounced by the pensioner. He didn’t make a deal with the devil but close enough.

      Hulk should have tried to get an Indy deal, like with Montoya, rather than the HRT thing. It’s one thing to be exiled in American in that nutty car racing series here, and quite another to be wrestling with that HRT. At least in America he might have a car not desperate to swap ends and every moment and then break down the next. In a decent car Nico might lay a whipping on the Indycar field on the road courses at least.

    • If Force India do decide to replace one of their drivers surely Di Resta will get the seat. Unless there are some surprises in the driver market I think the only options open to Hulkenberg for 2011 may either be a drive at one of the new teams but more likely a test driver role.

Add your comment

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

All comments must abide by the comment policy. Comments may be moderated.
Want to post off-topic? Head to the forum.
See the FAQ for more information.