Williams will look to retain the same driver line-up, according to latest reports

Having recently signed the right to use Renault engines for the next two seasons, the Williams team has confirmed it is “likely” that both Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado will be retained in the team’s line-up for next year.

The Grove-based team is currently enduring the worst start to a championship season in its history as a constructor, prompting it to undertake a raft of changes in its technical line-up which has included the sacking or resignation of underperforming staff, and the hiring of new technical leaders.

And despite the changes behind the scenes, team chairman Adam Parr believes that there’s little sense in restructuring its driver line-up as well.

“I think that is vastly the most likely outcome,” he told AUTOSPORT when asked if the team would keep the same line-up on board.

Parr went on to praise the performance of rookie driver Pastor Maldonado, adding that the Venezuelan’s performances to-date had justified the team’s decision to hire him, despite the criticism heaped upon it at the time when one considers the wealth of sponsorship backing the GP2 champion brought to the table.

“I always believed and people derided us and me for saying it, but I think he is a very, very talented driver,” Parr added.

“His record in GP2 certainly earned him a place in F1, and you could see the speed and what he has begun to show is a degree of consistency and maturity that people did not expect as well. We have been in Q3 three times this season and he did it each time.”

Barrichello has recently expressed his desire to remain with the team next year.

[Image via Sutton Images]

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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.