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Bye-bye Alex

WILLIAMS and Alessandro Zanardi have finally confirmed that their relationship has come to an end. The Italian joined the team at the start of last year on a two-year contract with an option to continue in 2001 but his performances were very disappointing. He scored no points while his Williams team-mate Ralf Schumacher collected 35 points and finished sixth in the World Championship. The settlement between the two parties is believed to be worth about $7m to Zanardi although it will mean that he will not be able to race this year.

The 33-year-old Italian is expected to take a year off to decide what to do in the future. Logic dictates that he will probably look for work in America, but Alex is under pressure from his family to stay in Europe and avoid racing on ovals. It is possible that he will decide to retire. He has made a considerable amount of money in racing and so does not need to work.

Zanardi's failure to shine in F1 has been something of a mystery and although another Grand Prix team might take a risk and decide to give him another chance, this is not thought to be very likely at the moment.

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