Williams expect to retain both F1 drivers

Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado and Brazilian Rubens Barrichello can expect to stay at Williams next season, according to the Formula One team's chairman Adam Parr.

"Yes. I think that's vastly the most likely outcome," he told reporters at the British Grand Prix when asked whether the two South Americans would be retained.

Barrichello will be 40 and in his 20th season next year while Maldonado is in his first year in the sport after winning the GP2 title.

The Venezuelan brings with him important sponsorship from his country's state oil company PDVSA but Parr said he had shown his talent.

"I always believed, and people derided us or me for saying it, but I think he's a very, very talented driver," the Briton said.

"His record in GP2 certainly earned him a place in Formula One and you could see the speed. What I think he's begun to show is a degree of consistency and maturity that perhaps people didn't expect as well."

Maldonado has yet to score a point in 10 races, while Barrichello has bagged only four in the team's worst ever start to a season, but there have been promising glimpses.

The Venezuelan was heading for a solid points finish in Monaco when he was shunted out by McLaren's Lewis Hamilton and he qualified in seventh place for Sunday's British Grand Prix at Silverstone.

In the past six months, former champions Williams have made major personnel changes, floated the company and agreed partnerships with Renault for F1 engines and Jaguar on a sportscar project.

Parr, whose team have lost some major backers including troubled British bank RBS, hoped that would now help the team attract new sponsors and keep existing ones.

"Our on-track performance was just so obviously inadequate that to be talking with sponsors just wouldn't have worked (earlier in the year)," he said.

"So I said to the marketing guys 'Just back off. Keep things ticking over for the moment because we need to put in place a vision for the future which is very different to the vision of the present'."

Parr said that had now been done: "We have some fantastic conversations going on and I'm very optimistic we will bring in some stunning new partnerships for next year," he said.

The Williams chairman is a novice compared to some in the paddock, and particularly 80-year-old Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone with whom he has not always seen eye to eye.

"Whenever we have a chat it's very friendly and he gently puts me back in my box, reminds me how little I understand and I accept that," he said. "But it's not going to stop me asking the question."

Parr praised Ecclestone for everything he had done but still felt there were areas that were not being exploited to the full.

He cited the example of Barrichello, who has more than one million followers on Twitter.

"Social media and the internet and even pay TV, how it's grown up in the last decade, must change the landscape. Not just how you communicate with people and how you distribute with people but also economically what's possible," he said.

"For Renault, Brazil is a key market. So when Rubens is... tweeting 'We're back with Renault, this is fantastic news'. Bang. A million people, who've opted to follow him, get an endorsement of Renault which is not commercially driven, it's what he generally feels about their company and brand.

"How do you quantify what that is worth? how many TV adverts of a (Renault) Clio is that worth?"

Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Sport
Amir Khan is engaged in a broader battle than attempting to win a fight with Floyd Mayweather
boxing Exclusive: Amir Khan reveals plans to travel to Pakistan
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge face-off in the final
Sport
Ched Evans in action for Sheffield United in 2012
footballRonnie Moore says 'he's served his time and the boy wants to play football'
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture