Rubens Barrichello has reportedly confessed that he might lose his seat at Williams due to the team’s “economic problem”.
The Brazilian veteran on Saturday posted on Twitter a photo of the special helmet he wore at Honda when he broke the all-time record of 256 grands prix.
“Remember this helmet … for race 257? Looking forward to the one at race 340 or more,” said the 39-year-old.
Barrichello can only break the 340 barrier at the very end of next season, but currently he has no deal for 2012.
“I have waited for three weeks but there has been no contact on the part of the team,” Finland’s Turun Sanomat newspaper quotes Barrichello as having told the Brazilian journalist Livio Oricchio.
Williams’ other driver at present is Pastor Maldonado, and Barrichello admitted it is possible the famous British team will sign another driver with sponsors for 2012.
“I have presented the team with my terms and I am even willing to sign a two-year contract,” he said. “But the economic problem might be too large.”
Turun Sanomat suggested that two options for Williams are Adrian Sutil, experienced and with the backing of the Medion company, and the Dutch GP2 driver Geido van der Garde who has “the most money”.
Williams’ departing technical director Sam Michael also raised the name of the Finnish test driver Valtteri Bottas.
“It is difficult for a driver to demonstrate his skills with the test ban during the season. Williams has decided that Valtteri will definitely drive the (young driver) test in Abu Dhabi after the race.”
As for whether the 21-year-old has a future on the F1 grid, Michael added: “Definitely. I just don’t know whether it will be with Williams or somewhere else.”
Valtteri is leading the 2011 GP3 championship.