It would seem that the ‘will he, won’t he?’ debate surrounding Nico Hülkenberg’s future with the Williams team might actually boil down to the negotiation of contract terms.

Confused? Well, no more…

Sir Frank Williams is a shrewd operator and won't let Hulkenberg slip through his fingers without a fightWith rumours doing the rounds that the Grove squad was looking to dump the German in favour of the well-funded Pastor Maldonado for the 2011 season, team boss Sir Frank Williams then engaged in his own little bit of playing with the press when he came out and recently praised young Hülkenberg’s efforts, and dropped hints that he would like to see the 23-year-old achieve success with his team.

Germany’s Sport Bild is reporting that the former championship-winning outfit actually wants to secure Hülkenberg’s services on a five-year contract, which is also rumoured to include a €15 million ‘get out’ fee (payable by Hülkenberg) should he jump ship before the end of the contract.

It could well be that part of the source of the ‘Maldonado-to-Williams’ rumours is Williams themselves, with the outfit perhaps hoping this speculation might force young Nico’s hand into quickly putting pen to paper as the other available race seats start drying up.

And the longer he stalls, certainly the more desperate Hülkenberg’s position becomes, which could then leverage Sir Frank (who carries quite the reputation of being careful with his pennies) to offer a lower retainer to Willi Weber’s star client.

So is Williams banking on achieving success with the junior champion in the years to come? It would certainly seem so, on the basis of this latest speculation…

Watch this space!

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.