ABU DHABI // Former champions Williams will name their 2010 driver line-up next week, a spokesman for the Formula One team said at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix today. Germany's Nico Rosberg has already said he was leaving, with Williams widely expected to name an all-new pairing of Brazilian veteran Rubens Barrichello and Germany's GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg. Japan's Kazuki Nakajima, Rosberg's team mate this season, is a Toyota-backed driver and set to leave after Williams decided not to continue with the manufacturer's engines. Nakajima has also failed to score a point this year.
Barrichello, 37, has won two races this year with new champions Brawn and is fighting for second place in the standings. Rosberg is tipped to take his place at Mercedes-powered Brawn. Williams will be powered by Cosworth engines, although the spokesman would only say that a formal announcement on their new supplier was scheduled for the week after next. However, team owner Frank Williams was quoted in a newspaper as confirming the Cosworth deal and saying the drivers would be announced on Monday.
"Our performance needs to improve. We staggered in the second half of the 2009 season. It's fundamental that the car is not fast enough, but from what I've seen we should have been a little more competitive," he said. "We've finished our contract with Toyota and we've moved on to a British engine manufacturer Cosworth, with whom we have won many world championships in the past," he added. "They are 50 miles away from Williams which is very convenient.
"Besides we also like our independence. We will be not under the influence, not that Toyota ever bossed around, but we've just gone down a private and independent route." * Reuters