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Barrichello and Hulkenberg at Williams in 2010

Willi Weber and Nico Hulkenberg

Willi Weber and Nico Hulkenberg

The driver line-up for the Williams Formula 1 team for 2010 will be this year’s Brawn pilot, Rubens Barrichello, and current Williams tester Nico Hulkenberg, according to an interview with Willi Weber in Germany’s Bild am Sonntag.  Weber, who guided Michael Schumacher’s ultra-successful career, is now the manager of the younger German driver, Hulkenberg.

Weber indicated that the rookie Hulkenberg would move up to full-time driver next year, and moreover, would “have his new team-mate Barrichello in his grasp.”

Assuming the quote is accurate, Williams have kept Weber in the loop regarding the outcome of their negoations with Barrichello.

According to rumor, current Williams number one, Nico Rosberg, will move to Brawn next year.  It is thought that this move will be aided (if not mandated) by a Mercedes purchase of a 75% stake in Brawn. Brawn is currently in negotiation to retain new world title holder Jenson Button, as well, whose future with that team also seems to be predicated on an influx of Mercedes funding.

Willi Weber is full of praise for his latest protege, comparing him to the young Michael Schumacher.  Said Weber, “Nico is insanely talented. He is also as hard-working as Michael.”  In his appearance, Hulkenberg has been compared to another, more recent world champion – Kimi Raikkonen.  Weber commented on this by saying, “Nico looks like Kimi… but he doesn’t drink like him.”

Image by Cynthia H., licensed through Creative Commons.

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