Rubens Barrichello is right back in the frame to retain his race seat at Williams, according to reports.

It had been expected the Brazilian veteran would not get the chance to race a 20th consecutive season in F1 next year as the British team eyed a new teammate - perhaps Adrian Sutil - for Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado.

But the Gulf Today newspaper quotes sources close to the 39-year-old as saying from England: "(Barrichello) has come back into the frame and now has a reasonable chance of a Williams drive in 2012."

It has been rumoured Barrichello, whose tally well beyond 300 grands prix is an outright F1 record, has managed to amass $5 million in personal sponsorship to offer Williams -- about the same potentially brought to the team by German Sutil's backer Medion.

The Telegraph correspondent Tom Cary wrote: "Rubens Barrichello is reportedly right back in contention (for the seat) having been almost counted out at the Brazilian GP in November."