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New line-up 'just what Williams wanted'

Sam Michael states that Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello gives Williams the ideal driver line-up for the 2010 F1 season
Technical director Sam Michael insists that Williams has 'got what it wanted' with its 2010 F1 driver pairing of Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg.

The Grove-based team revealed last week that Barrichello would be joining from Brawn GP for next season, with reigning GP2 champion Hulkenberg stepping up from his role as test driver to partner the experienced Brazilian.

Having made his debut back in 1993 with Jordan, Barrichello proved to be the most experienced figure available to spearhead the Williams challenge next season and Michael insisted that his experience and Hulkenberg's undoubted potential was the ideal partnership for 2010.

“We chose Rubens because he is a multiple Grand Prix winner and has a huge amount of experience,” he said. “He also still has a huge amount of enthusiasm to win races. He's quick and is the complete package. We're combining Rubens with Nico Hulkenberg, a rookie, but one who's won everything he's competed in since he started karting. Nico has great potential for the future. Combining youth with experience, we have what we wanted.

“We expect both of them to deliver at the level of the car and beyond. Rubens is already having a motivating effect and we expect him to keep bringing that to everyone at Grove. Nico has worked on the factory floor all year, so everyone knows him and is behind him. We want them both to drive the factory towards wins. Unless you've worked with a race winner, you don't know where that level is and that is something that Rubens will bring us which we anticipate will have a great effect on the team.”

Barrichello and Hulkenberg come into the Williams line-up to replace Nico Rosberg – widely tipped to fill Barrichello's seat at Brawn GP – and Kazuki Nakajima and Michael insisted that both done well in 2009; even if the latter failed to score a point all season.

“Nico's done a great job for the team and scored all of our points this year,” he said. “He's come a long way as a driver since he joined us four years ago and we wish him all the best. Kazuki certainly improved as a driver this year and did a lot of work setting up the car over race weekends. If anything, he drove better this year than last.

“In 2008 he was scoring points, but in a car that wasn't as competitive. The difference was that this year the field was so tight and therefore the grid so penalising. If you were a couple of tenths off, you just didn't cut it.”

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