APRIL 28, 2004
Pizzaman drops a few hints
Antonio Pizzonia has always maintained that he is a man with a big future in Formula 1, despite the setback he suffered last year at Jaguar Racing. The Brazilian youngster was taken on again by Williams and has been fastest at most of the tests in which he takes part and is now beginning to jostle for position for 2005. Pizzonia is actually quite well-placed because although Williams has shown no obvious signs of wanting to sign him up for next season, he is in the right place and if Williams cannot find the right men for 2005 he will be available. Yesterday at Silverstone, a couple of days after another lacklustre performance from Ralf Schumacher, Pizzonia was setting the pace.
During the Imola weekend he remarked that he does not think Ralf Schumacher will be at Williams next year. This is not hard to see. Ralf's situation has been very clear for some time. He intends to go to Toyota. Williams is happy with that and the only question mark is whether or not Toyota will agree to Ralf's terms.
But filling the Williams seats is another matter. Jenson Button seems to be very happy at BAR-Honda and a change is not likely. Mark Webber is the right man for the job at Williams but has to extricate himself from Jaguar Racing if he wishes to move on to Williams. In many respects it is a harder choice for him because the option also exists for him to go to Renault. Williams would also be looking at the likes of Giancarlo Fisichella and David Coulthard although both are probably in the wrong part of their careers. The targets are really men with talent and experience but who do not cost too much. The team has always made stars rather than buying established ones (the exception being the phase when Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna passed through the ranks at Williams) and so there is much hope for youngsters like Pizzonia that they could be a name on the list for the team.
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