16
Nov
10

F1 silly season 2011: And so it begins

First of all we have news that Nico Hülkenberg will be leaving Williams:

But this is promising:

I am negotiating with other teams. Nico will have his seat in F1 in 2011.
Willi Weber

The other Nico — Rosberg — put together some impressive drives for Williams in 2009 and moved up to Mercedes this year.  Could the Incredible Hülk do something similar, maybe to Renault if Petrov loses his job?  I’d like to think so, and the article is pretty upbeat about Hülkenberg’s future in the sport.

Next we have the young drivers’ test:

Of particular note is Pastor Maldonado, who drove for HRT on the first day of the test and will switch over to Williams on the second day.  He’ll also be testing on the weekend with the new Pirelli tires; with testing time so hard to come by in the sport these days, that might benefit him greatly.

Interesting that Maldonado’s testing at HRT as well as Williams; it suggests that HRT may become a “B-team” for Williams in a similar way to Toro Rosso for Red Bull.  Obviously that’s wild and irresponsible speculation… but that’s what silly season’s all about, isn’t it?

(Speaking of Toro Rosso, I’d expect changes before the start of 2011.  Alguersuari was pretty unremarkable, and Buemi was well off the pace.  Vergne looks like a good prospect, but maybe not next year.  Maybe they’ll get Heidfeld?)

And as for HRT, they’re in trouble when it comes to developing the 2011 car:

Not a great place for them to be, although it wouldn’t shock me to see Williams support them rather significantly.

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