Barrichello's Seat Also in Danger for 2011

Nico Hulkenberg's seat is not the only one in danger for the 2011 Formula One season, as far as Williams' engineering boss Patrick Head is concerned. Despite the fact that many rumors have suggested that Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado will likely replace the German in the Williams lineup next year, Head's latest comments come to cast a shadow of doubt over this particular prospect.

I think Nico has done enough, both before he entered F1 and since being in F1, to support the view that he is a justified driver,” said Head in the wake of the Korean Grand Prix last weekend.

According to the Brazilian media last week, Maldonado has already signed a one-year contract with the Grove-based team, benefiting from the backing of state-owned petroleum company PDVSA (approximately EUR15 million). Recently, he has also been confirmed as official test driver for Williams during the young drivers' F1 test in Abu Dhabi this November.

Meaning that if Maldonado's in, one of the two existing Williams drivers must be out. And Head's recent comments suggest veteran driver Rubens Barrichello might also leave Grove, as the 39-year old is yet to sign an extension for his current deal.

As far as German magazine Auto Motor und Sport reports, it seems that neither Hulkenberg, nor Barrichello will be ousted by the British team until this winter, until Williams will manage to finalize his budget for next season. In case some sponsors don't pop in with some quick cash, Maldonado's EUR15 million will be more than enough to secure him the seat, leaving Williams with the decision to pick between its two current drivers.

Whether he'll go for experience (Barrichello) or a full rejuvenated lineup (Hulkenberg and Maldonado are the most recent champions of the GP2 Series) we're yet to find out.
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