2 Dec 2010

Williams name a new driver

6:31 am on 2 December 2010

The Williams formula one motor racing team has announced that GP2 champion Pastor Maldonado will replace Nico Hulkenberg next season.

He becomes the second Venezuelan to drive in Formula 1 after Johnny Cecotto, who raced between 1983-84.

25-year-old Maldonado should bring around 10m euros of sponsorship with him from companies in his native Venezuela.

Maldonado - who this year become the only driver in the short history of GP2 to win six feature races in a row - got plenty of miles under his belt for the team at the Abu Dhabi young driver tests recently, which followed the season-ending Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.

Maldonado's confirmation means there are now nine seats remaining across five teams for next season.

Germany's Hulkenberg is expected to end up at Force India, who have yet to confirm either driver for next year, with one of Adrian Sutil or Vitantonio Liuzzi to make way.

Two of the new teams for 2010 - Virgin Racing and Hispania - have also yet to name either driver while Toro Rosso are in a similar position.

The other available seat is at Renault, who have yet to reveal Robert Kubica's team-mate.