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Whither Wurz?

ALEXANDER WURZ's future remains unclear at the moment although the Austrian, who is being dumped by Benetton at the end of the year, is believed to have had an offer to test drive for the McLaren team. Wurz could possibly continue to race in F1 with Arrows, Minardi or even possibly Prost as there is considerable sponsorship linked to him from a variety of companies, notably the German telephone company D2 Mannesmann and the fruit juice company Rauch. According to Wurz's manager, Peter Cramer, Wurz received an offer last week to drive next year but it remains to be seen whether this is a realistic option when compared to a McLaren test drive.

"I would love to tell you about my plans and future in F1," he said, "but I cannot yet. Secrecy is a top priority."

As a trained engineer Wurz's testing and set-up ability should not be overlooked and with McLaren looking for experience in its third driver, Wurz is an obvious candidate. It should be added, however, that there are other teams such as Williams looking for an experienced test driver and so Wurz could easily be on the team's list of candidates, particularly as his ability to speak german will be helpful with engine manufacturer BMW. Wurz has very close links with BMW Motorsport boss Gerhard Berger.

The Williams test drive - although we understand that there actually may be two available - is causing much interest at the moment and we hear on the grapevine that Italian F3 racer Giorgio Pantano was a recent visitor to the Williams factory at Grove. Pantano is being managed by former Williams team manager Peter Collins.

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