Williams want Hulkenberg long term

Nico Hulkenberg

Mar.19 (GMM) With Rosberg now at Mercedes, Williams has turned its attention to securing a long-term future with F1’s new ‘Nico’.

As Nico Rosberg’s contract with the Grove based team ran out last year, Sir Frank Williams said he would “most certainly like to keep him” in 2010.

Instead, the 24-year-old accepted an offer to join Mercedes’ new works team, where in Bahrain last weekend he outpaced the great Michael Schumacher all weekend.

Williams replaced Rosberg with another young German, the reigning GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg, who struggled all weekend on his F1 debut in Bahrain to keep up with the vastly experienced Rubens Barrichello.

But 67-year-old Williams told Germany’s Auto Bild Motorsport: “Nico is our big star. He has won every other series that he has done, and the only other driver to have done this is Lewis Hamilton. That says everything,” said the Briton.

Williams referred to a statement recently by Hulkenberg’s famous manager Willi Weber, who said his young charge is at the Oxfordshire based team as a springboard to Ferrari or McLaren.

“It is up to me that they don’t snatch him away,” said Williams. “I found it very unprofessional that Weber is saying he (Hulkenberg) will be with Ferrari in 2013. Anyway, I hope Nico is with us for a very long time.

“I have put an experienced driver – Rubens – by his side, so that he can learn as much as possible,” he added.

Apparently also responding to Weber’s recent comments, 22-year-old Hulkenberg said it is “utter rubbish” that he is already thinking about his next move in F1.

“I want to win races with Williams — as soon as possible,” he said.