Williams will decide "in the coming weeks" whether to sign Nico Hulkenberg as a race driver for the 2010 season.

Williams will decide "in the coming weeks" whether to sign Nico Hulkenberg as a race driver for the 2010 season.

The British team has an option on the likely 2009 GP2 champion, but also potentially on the market are highly rated established drivers including Kimi Raikkonen, Robert Kubica, Heikki Kovalainen, Jarno Trulli, Rubens Barrichello, Nick Heidfeld and Timo Glock.

"We have a contract with Hulkenberg and in the coming weeks it will be decided what we are going to do," technical director Sam Michael told Germany's Auto Bild Motorsport.

For Williams, much depends on Nico Rosberg, who is expected to switch to McLaren next year, but the driver market is unlikely to move significantly until the plans of F1's top driver Fernando Alonso are clear.

Also complicating the 2010 market is the uncertainty about Toyota, leaving Williams considering its engine options and Timo Glock and Jarno Trulli potentially joining those on the hunt for a race seat.

A change of engines for Williams could also free up another cockpit, with Kazuki Nakajima actively sponsored by Toyota. The Japanese has also failed to score a point so far this season while Rosberg in the sister car has more than 30.

"Of course it's not ideal if only one driver is getting points," Michael admitted. "If we had a second driver like Nico then we would be third in the championship (not sixth).

"I cannot say that it is an ideal situation, but it would be wrong to attack the driver. We would rather develop and motivate him," the Australian added.

 

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