Promising youngster Nico Hulkenberg has announced that he will not race for Williams next season. The 23-year old German, who secured the team’s first pole position in five years last week in Brazil, is now shopping for a race seat in next season’s Formula 1 grid after both sides could not come to an agreement about a contract extension.

“I heavily regret that. I would have been happy to stay with Williams. I want to thank the team for a great time and I wish Williams all the best for the future,” Hulkenberg said in a statement.

The Hulk’s manager, Willi Weber, assures that Nico will have a seat next year. “I am negotiating with other teams. Nico will have his seat in F1 in 2011,” said the man who also manages Michael Schumacher.

However, there doesn’t seem to be many possible destinations, for now at least. With a great drive in Abu Dhabi and the weight of Russia behind him, Vitaly Petrov looks set to renew his deal with Renault. Could Hulkenberg replace Liuzzi at Force India or one of the Lotus Racing drivers (Trulli’s position has been questioned before) for next year? Or will he bide his time as a reserve driver for a bigger team?

Now that the season’s ended, there’s bound to be more rumours, wheeling and dealing. Stay tuned.