Bagging hugely-experienced F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello and one of the most talented young drivers of the new wave Nico Hulkenberg seems to be the thing the Grove based team count the most in 2010. According to the team's technical director Sam Michael, one can't secure a more balanced lineup that the one confirmed by Williams yesterday afternoon.
While Hulkenberg is mostly regarded as the next Schumacher – a title that has been widely used for characterizing Sebastian Vettel in recent years – Michael believes he will have a lot to learn from Barrichello during his rookie season. With the help from the Brazilian driver, Hulkenberg may very well become world champion, argued the Australian official.
“We wanted to put someone quite experienced and strong and a grand prix winner next to Hulkenberg so that he develops properly. We didn't want him to come in as a rookie and not have that support,” said Michael in an interview with the Reuters news agency.
The idea, according to the same Michael, is to make a world champion out of Nico Hulkenberg. Being that he has the same winning pedigree as 2008 champ Lewis Hamilton, there's no reason why Williams should not feel optimistic for the future. The team's last world champion was Canadian driver Jacques Villeneuve, back in 1997.
“There's no point in putting a rookie in the car unless you think he can be a World Champion. Inside Williams we have a big spreadsheet which basically maps a driver's achievements from the age of eight and the reference in that spreadsheet has been Lewis Hamilton because of what he did from eight years old to get into F1. Basically Nico Hulkenberg has been on exactly the same path, coming up obviously through different countries,” added Michael.