x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Williams part ways with Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg has been dropped by Williams-Cosworth for next season, the British-based Formula One team reveal.

Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed a promising debut season, finishing 14th in the drivers’ championship and claiming pole in Brazil.
Nico Hulkenberg enjoyed a promising debut season, finishing 14th in the drivers’ championship and claiming pole in Brazil.

Nico Hulkenberg has been dropped by Williams-Cosworth for next season, the British-based Formula One team revealed yesterday.

The 23-year-old enjoyed a promising debut season, finishing 14th in the drivers' championship and claiming a stunning pole position in the penultimate round in Brazil.

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello, 38, is retained for 2011 but Williams have still to name their second driver, although there is mounting speculation that Venezuela's Pastor Maldonado will be given the slot.

"First, I would like to thank Nico for his hard work this year, and before that in preparing himself for Formula One," said Frank Williams, the team principal.

"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."

Williams had said on Saturday in Abu Dhabi that the team was still some way off naming their 2011 line-up and was unlikely to do so this week.

Barrichello enjoyed a solid first season with Williams after switching from Brawn, finishing in the points 10 times. Next year will be his 19th season in F1.

Maldonado is due to drive for Williams, as well as newcomers Hispania Racing Team-Cosworth, in Abu Dhabi this week as all the teams test young up-and-coming drivers. He has long been backed by his country's state oil company, PDVSA.

Patrick Head, Williams' co-owner, made clear last month that the team, who are losing several major sponsors including the Royal Bank of Scotland, would take commercial considerations into account in deciding their drivers.