Adrian Sutil and Nico Hulkenberg are being linked with Rubens Barrichello’s Williams Formula One seat.
With Williams happy with Pastor Maldonado and his links with important Venezuelan backer PDVSA, the Grove based team at present is refusing to say the 39-year-old veteran Barrichello will surely stay beyond 2011.
Increasingly, the Brazilian’s rhetoric is sounding impatient, and Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport reports he is calling a halt to the practice of using his car as a test mule for struggling Williams’ technical experiments.
“Never have I wanted to be a test driver,” he is quoted as saying.
The report said Barrichello, with a conventional setup, was finally back to his dominant self in comparison to Maldonado in Hungary.
But at the same time, rumours swirled in the paddock that Germans Sutil – the current Force India driver – and 2010 Williams rookie Hulkenberg are in the running to replace Barrichello next year.
And Barrichello, the most experienced driver in F1 history, sounds frustrated.
“Our car cooks the rear tyres,” he said. “The driveability of the engine is bad and in slippery conditions it’s even worse. No matter what we do, we can’t make the tyre problem go away.
“We are bringing too many new parts to the car and only confusing ourselves.”