Claire Williams says no talks have taken place between Williams Racing and Nico Hülkenberg about a potential 2020 drive, despite the German being a free agent following his announced departure from the Renault F1 Team.
Hülkenberg is without a drive after being replaced for 2020 by Mercedes-Benz protégé Esteban Ocon, while a proposed move to the Haas F1 Team came to nothing following the announcement that Romain Grosjean will remain there for a fifth consecutive campaign.
Williams, the deputy Team Principal of Williams, says Hülkenberg, who made his Formula 1 debut with the team back in 2010 and took a surprise pole position with them for the Brazilian Grand Prix, would appeal to any team due to his tremendous speed and ability.
However, for Williams, it seems that it is a case of needing a driver with a budget to partner George Russell that will likely mean Hülkenberg could be overlooked, with the teams’ current test driver Nicholas Latifi the favourite to be promoted to the race seat that will be relinquished by Robert Kubica at the end of 2019.
“Someone of Nico’s competence or capability is always going to appeal to a team,” Williams is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “It’s not an easy predicament that we’re in at the moment when it comes to that second seat and our financial considerations.
“But that’s not to say that we can’t potentially make a driver work that doesn’t come with backing. So, we do have options available to us. We haven’t had any conversations with Nico, though.”