Who will drive for Williams in 2005?

The lastest spat between Ralf Schumacher and Williams may end up being of little significance given the cut and thrust of modern Formula 1 contract negotiations but, at the same time, we may be witnessing a split between Schumacher and Williams which will result in the German departing the team in 2005. The team has been reassessing the situation in recent weeks and we hear that there is now a distinct possibility that given the poor performance of both drivers in 2003, the team may opt for two new drivers in 2005. Talks with Rubens Barrichello appear to have gone very quiet with our spies in Italy reporting that Barrichello has a lucrative new contract from Ferrari waiting to be signed. Rubens may choose to take the money and continue to act as Michael Schumacher's assistant. Williams is apparently not willing to get into a bidding war over any driver. This opens the way for someone else to sneak into a top-level team and the latest word is that Williams has decided that it will have a closer look at Jenson Button and see whether they can reclaim him from BAR. Much depends on the performance clauses that exist in his contract.

Beyond that the team is still looking around at various cheaper options.

Williams has a long-established tradition of hiring cheap drivers and building cars which enable them to win World Championships.

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