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Wurz in line for McLaren test job

Austrian Alexander Wurz is in contention for the job as the McLaren test driver after team-boss Ron Dennis said he wants to appoint an experience Formula One driver.

The 26-year old will be ousted from his seat in the Benetton next season when rookie Briton Jenson Button joins as Giancarlo Fisichella team-mate.

The job as the McLaren test driver is almost as prestigious as that of a race driver with lesser teams. Frenchman Olivier Panis looked on his way out of Formula One at the end of 1999 when he accepted the job as the Woking-based team.

But the team rated Panis highly and his work alongside Mika Hakkinen and David Coulthard has earned him a contract with British American Racing for the 2001 season. He is replacing Brazilian Ricardo Zonta who is Wurz's main rival for the testing role. Zonta is under a long-term contract to McLaren as part of their young driver programme.

"An announcement should be made before the next race," said Dennis "We favour experience but not at the expense of developing young drivers."

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