Williams has joined the ranks of Ferrari and Red Bull as the only current teams on the grid to have a full driver lineup for next season. The Grove based team officially announced Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenburg as their all new lineup. The decision for an all new team comes after Nico Rosberg announced he would be leaving the team and Toyota engine contract was not resigned, all but giving Kaz Nakajima the boot.
Barrichello comes in after a career reviving year with Brawn GP. The veteran who is most famous for teaming Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, had a spectacular year notching two victories to his belt and giving teammate Jenson Button a run for his money in the championship. Barrichello is seen as instrumental in car setup due to his experience with slick tires and no driving aids from the last time these settings were run. If current testing regulations remain in place next year, Rubens will give Williams a solid veteran who may be able to further develop the chassis and Cosworth engine and return Williams to winning form.
Nico Hulkenburg is a young upstart talent that captured this year’s GP2 championship in a most impressive fashion as a rookie. The young German has had a bright career to this point, capturing championships in nearly every series he has competed. Hulkenburg has been a Williams test driver since 2008.
This combination in my opinion will make Williams a very exciting team to watch in 2010. The Cosworth engine still concerns me due to reliability issues from years past, but Rubens technical expertise teamed with the young high octane German rookie may be the cocktail Williams needs to return to form and take race wins. The car this year showed promise in the earlier races but fell off later in the year due to what I believe to be a lack of expirience with the new variables. Nico Rosberg is a great driver and will serve well at whatever team he chooses to join. At this moment his name is strongly linked to the vacant seat at Brawn GP.