AUGUST 24, 2002
The future of Antonio Pizzonia
When Jenson Button signed for British American Racing a few weeks ago, Antonio Pizzonia's future suddenly looked considerably better than it had before. Pizzonia moved into the position of being Williams's "chosen one" for the future. Pizzonia has now done two years in Formula 3000, the second being rather less impressive than the first and this means that it is time to move on and, with the backing of Petrobras and Williams, the Amazonian driver is now hoping to get a drive in F1 next year so that he can get some racing experience in Grands Prix.
For the moment it is not obvious where he might end up, but as the other drives are settled a clearer picture will emerge. Competition is going to be fairly tight with Tomas Enge, Giorgio Pantano and Sebastian Bourdais all trying to land F1 drives. It looks like Bourdais will end up as the test driver at Renault. This is a logical thing for the team to do in an effort to improve their image after the negative publicity (particularly in France) which followed the signing of Fernando Alonso. The French wish to see a Frenchman being supported by what is in effect the French national team.
Pizzonia's future will largely depend on his ability to bring money to one of the minor teams but with such solid support behind him it is quite possible that he will be in an F1 car next year - and not simply as a test driver.
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