A Dutch GP2 driver has emerged as a contender to race at Williams next year alongside Rubens Barrichello.

A Dutch GP2 driver has emerged as a contender to race at Williams next year alongside Rubens Barrichello.

On Monday, the British team announced that Nico Hulkenberg is leaving Williams, and the disappointed German's manager Willi Weber said he suspects Pastor Maldonado has been signed for 2011.

But another driver with links to some very attractive sponsorship backing has now entered the frame.

Late last month, 25-year-old Giedo van der Garde's manager said he was in talks with several teams and had received "concrete offers" from two.

Dutch reports said one of them is Virgin.

Fascinatingly, van der Garde's manager Jan Paul ten Hoopen is also the commercial director of the Dutch fashion brand McGregor, and the driver's father-in-law is Marcel Boekhoorn, a major shareholder.

It was believed that McGregor would cease its sponsorship of the Williams team at the end of 2010, but it is now being reported in The Netherlands that the deal has instead been extended by three years.

Jan Paul ten Hoopen is quoted as saying: "This extension underscores our belief in the future of formula one and Williams in particular."

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