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Barrichello's Williams seat under threat from Force India duo

Speculation is suggesting that Williams veteran Rubens Barrichello could be denied his 20th consecutive campaign of F1 competition in 2012 by either Adrian Sutil or former team-mate Nico Hülkenberg
Reports claim Rubens Barrichello is under pressure to retain his seat at Williams into F1 2012 from Force India's two Germans, Adrian Sutil and Nico Hülkenberg – as the Brazilian veteran bemoans the 'confusing' development of the Cosworth-powered FW33.

Barrichello has tallied just four points this year – courtesy of back-to-back ninth-place finishes in Monaco and Canada – and has not once made the top ten on the starting grid in the opening eleven races. A more conventional set-up seemed to help the 39-year-old's plight at the Hungaroring last weekend, but the fact remains that 'Rubinho' has been out-qualified six-five thus far by unrated rookie team-mate Pastor Maldonado, a man who arrived in F1 dogged by 'pay driver' rumours.

With Williams ostensibly happy with Maldonado's consistent improvements – not to mention the financial benefits he is able to bring to the Grove-based outfit from Venezuelan state-owned petroleum company PDVSA – Barrichello's future at the team has been called into question.

Next year would mark the eleven-time grand prix-winner's 20th consecutive campaign in the top flight, but speculation suggests he could be denied that marker by either former team-mate Hülkenberg – who ironically was forced to make way for Maldonado this season – or Sutil. Certainly, Barrichello is becoming increasingly frustrated by progress – or rather, a distinct lack of it – at Williams.

“Our car cooks the rear tyres,” the most experienced driver in the sport's history is quoted as having said by German magazine Auto Motor und Sport, lamenting the fact that his car is invariably used in practice sessions to try out new parts. “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. Never have I wanted to be a test-driver. We are bringing too many new parts to the car – and only confusing ourselves.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
30.07.2011 Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM04
23.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM04
31.07.2011 Adrian Sutil (GER), Force India F1 Team, VJM04
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Force India F1 Team, Test Driver
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Force India F1 Team, Test Driver
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 1, Nico Hulkenberg (GER), Force India F1 Team, Test Driver
30.07.2011 Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
30.07.2011 Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
23.07.2011- Qualifying, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
23.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
22.07.2011- Friday Practice 1, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
08.07.2011- Friday Practice 2, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
09.07.2011- Saturday Practice, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
24.06.2011- Friday Practice 2, Rubens Barrichello (BRA), Williams FW33
(L to R): Bob Bell (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team Chief Technical Officer with Cyril Abiteboul (FRA) Renault Sport F1 Managing Director; Jerome Stoll (FRA) Renault Sport F1 President; Thierry Koskas, Renault Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing; and Louise Ekland (GBR).
Sergey Sirotkin (RUS) Renault Sport F1 Team Third Driver.
Jolyon Palmer (GBR) Renault Sport F1 Team.

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Full of it - Unregistered

August 05, 2011 1:44 PM

The irony in this whole saga is that Rubens is actually spot on in his analysis of what's wrong with Williams. Albeit that he's not as fast as he used to be or that Hulkenberg/Rosberg are quicker drivers than him, neither of them were able to identify why Williams is struggling as they are. Rosberg had 3/4 years to come out with this stuff and never did. Exeperience is a great thing, something Williams should listen too. If they took his advice and sorted out the types of things he's mentioning, instead of firing him because they all feel someone else "has to be blamed for the poor results" then maybe they'd begin to move forward. What a crying shame that team has a leadership structure full of guys who don't have a clue. As experienced and wise as FW & PH maybe, they've lost control of their team and it's heading one way unless something changes right at the top.

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