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Hulkenberg future in doubt as sponsors leave Williams

ESPNF1 Staff
October 7, 2010 « Pressure increases on Schumacher | »
Nico Hulkenberg: will he be at Williams in 2011? © Getty Images
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Despite reports Williams would not be changing drivers in 2011, an Italian newspaper is claiming Nico Hulkenberg's race seat is in doubt as the team faces losing as many as four sponsors over the winter.

Autosprint reports sponsors, including RBS and Philips, are prepared to walk away at the same time Hulkenberg's manager Willi Weber has approached Sir Frank Williams for a pay-rise for his client.

As a result, GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado is named as the driver most likely to replace Hulkenberg alongside Rubens Barrichello. Maldonado, who is backed by state oil company PDVSA, had hoped to go to Sauber but it has instead signed the Telmex-sponsored Sergio Perez.

Williams' third co-owner Toto Wolff said last weekend that he is not expecting a "lightening fast decision" about the team's 2011 drivers. "I feel quite comfortable about our [current] driver line-up."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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