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Boullion for Tyrrell?

WILLIAMS test driver Jean-Christophe Boullion is not expected to continue with the World Champions next year. Boullion has been linked for some months with the new British American Tobacco-supported Reynard Formula 1 operation - the new organization keen to use his years of experience as a test driver working with Renault engines.

With the Reynard-Renault (or whatever the engine will be called) due to begin testing next year a deal does not make much sense for Boullion unless there are guarantees of employment with the team in 1999 and beyond. The team is expected to run Jacques Villeneuve and there have been suggestions that CART Champion Alessandro Zanardi might be the second driver although Boullion seems a more likely candidate.

If this is the case the team will want him to have some more racing experience in F1 as he has not taken part in a Grand╩Prix since he drove for Sauber in 1994. It would be logical, therefore, that Boullion would be drafted into Tyrrell next year - the team expected to sponsored by BAT cigarette brand Lucky Strike.

This would leave Dutchman Jos Verstappen out of work and would also end Formula Nippon Champion Pedro de la Rosa's dreams of breaking into F1 next year. De la Rosa is tipped as a possible replacement for Boullion at Williams, although the team is also understood to be talking to Colombian Juan-Pablo Montoya while Williams's French connections are pushing hard for a job for Frenchman Nicolas Minassian.

If Tyrrell does appear in Lucky Strike colors in 1998 it is worth noting that it will not be first time this has happened. Back in 1973 South African privateer Eddy Keizen raced a Tyrrell 004 in Lucky Strike livery at the South African GP.

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