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F1 NEWS 

Hulkenberg in contention at Williams

Nico HulkenbergWilliams technical director Sam Michael has confirmed that test driver Nico Hulkenberg is a contender for a race seat with the team next year.

Hulkenberg, who can clinch the GP2 title at Monza next week with a round to spare, has been the team's test and reserve driver for the past two years, and has been widely linked with a Williams race seat for 2010.

"Nico is someone that is on our list for a drive next year," said Michael. "But there are lots of drivers knocking on our door.

"It's a point of discussion internally at the moment and we need to come to a decision in the coming weeks or months. We have a long-term contract and we have to decide whether to engage that or not."

Hulkenberg has been used regularly in testing by Williams in the past two years after having his first run-out in December 2007 and is well-regarded by the team.

He is one of the few current F1 test drivers to have been given proper running in a 2009 car after completing three full days in pre-season testing.

"He's obviously very quick," said Michael. "He would be an F1 rookie, but it's not just about GP2. He's someone that we have tracked for a long time and that we have had a relationship with for a long time."

The team's current lead driver, Nico Rosberg, is out of contract at the end of the season and has held talks with McLaren, although Williams is still pushing to keep him.

Current second driver Kazuki Nakajima is expected to leave the team at the end of the season now that it has been given permission by Toyota to end the engine supply deal. However, Williams has not ruled out retaining the Japanese driver for 2010.

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