Heard this rumour that Maldonado might replace Hulkenburg at Williams because Williams is losing sponsorship (RBS, AirAsia, and Phillips), and Maldonado sure is overflowing with cash. PDVSA and CanTV are his sponsors, with Hugo Chavez’s backing. What do you think?!
They’d be mad to drop Hulkeneberg. He’s one of the best up and coming drivers in F1- give him a few years and I reckon he’ll be a frontrunner. Maldonado, on the other hand, is a pay driver with no real potential. Clearly he has some talent if he won the GP2 championship, but he was up against weak opposition this season and he was pretty experienced so it’s not as impressive as it sounds.
Martin Brundle made a good point today- running a pay driver can be more expensive than hiring a proven head. Look at Renault- Petrov may have brought plenty of Roubles, but he’s also cost the team a shot at 4th in the Constructors and all the money it brings. Williams would do well to learn this lesson
I’m doubtful of it – Williams have simply snk too much time, effort and money into Hulkenberg to drop him after one season. I don’t think he’s been terribly impressive (awful starts, confused by chicanes, really needing to calm down) and that he is more of a qulaifying driver than a racer. He obviously has something, but Williams need to be able to channel it and direct it. Otherwise, history will remember Nico Hulkenberg as a driver who failed to live up to expectations because he kept getting in his own way.