Apparently, Pastor Maldonado to Williams is the best-kept secret in Formula 1 for some time, at least when it comes to the team’s drivers.
While Maldonado seemed to be the only one unsure if he will get a Williams drive, you now can add sole Williams pilot Rubens Barrichello to the very short list of people who don’t know this is happening.
Rubens’ ignorance comes in a story from the ever-reliable Globoe Sporte, which is in Portuguese.
Rubens also seems delighted by Red Bull’s lack of team orders or clear No. 1 driver in 2010. Now that’s some big news!
I’m starting to wonder what is taking Williams so long to publicly seal this deal. One reason is if the incredibly strong rumor isn’t true. Perhaps more likely is the final price tag and Maldonado’s fear of messing things up. And then you have a true veteran in Rubens, who just knows better than most other drivers not to get involved in the Silly Season stuff.
Having dumped Nico Hulkenberg, Williams seems to me to have a short list of potential drivers. Unless a youngster has the cash to be attractive, no one else seems especially better than Hulkenberg to me. Perhaps the team wants another experienced driver, someone like Nick Heidfeld who also is on the loose out there. Maybe it is giving a Paul di Resta a look?
While it is someone obvious to say “this seat is really important,” I do think it is the case. A solid two-driver line-up, with another boost in performance, could vault Williams at least into the Renault-Force India rung of “second tier” teams, and maybe allow it to be the breakout in 2011. I think, perhaps more than any other team, Williams has the potential to really go one way or the other.
So, perhaps that is somehow playing into the delay.