Rubens Barrichello insists he has not yet finalized a 2010 deal, despite reports that Williams is on the verge of announcing him as its new driver.
The Brazilian is now widely expected to swap places with Nico Rosberg, who would move in the opposite direction from Williams to Brawn, joining Jenson Button. GP2 champion Nico Hulkenberg is tipped to step up from reserve duties to become Barrichello's Williams teammate. Williams announced today that it will not have Toyota engines in 2010, but had no comment about its driving lineup.
Barrichello openly admitted that he was negotiating with Williams, but denied that he had already signed a contract – and said staying at Brawn was also still an option.
"That it's true there are talks with Williams and with Brawn, there's no doubt," Barrichello was quoted as saying by the Reuters news agency. "But that I haven't signed any papers, I can also say I haven't."
The most experienced driver in Formula 1 history, Barrichello said he was thrilled to be negotiating with more than one team for what would be his 18th season in the World Championship.
"I read about everything that's been said and made it quite clear that this is a very special moment for me in Formula 1," he said. "Today I feel very honored that there are teams trying [to sign me for 2010], that there are teams I'm talking to and that my situation is a lot better than for some time.
"I'm at a very privileged stage of my career in being able to choose the car in which I'll compete. I very much want a competitive car for next season."
Barrichello's career looked to be in jeopardy a year ago as Honda evaluated young Brazilians Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna as potential replacements. But when the Japanese company pulled out and the team was reborn as Brawn GP, team boss Ross Brawn preferred to retain Barrichello. With two races to go, Barrichello remains a contender for the World Championship, 14 points behind his teammate Button.