FEBRUARY 4, 2005
So what happens to Pizzonia?
The signing of Nick Heidfeld as the second Williams driver has made life rather difficult for Antonio Pizzonia. He can stay on as the third Williams driver and hope that BMW favourite Nick Heidfeld does such a bad job that he is removed from the seat. That is not likely to happen and Pizzonia also knows that if Heidfeld stays in the car this year and Jenson Button does not join the team next year alongside Mark Webber, the chances are that Heidfeld would stay on for another season.
There is no chance of a job at Jordan now that the team has signed Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro and so the only real option available for the Brazilian is to head for the United States and see if he can make a name for himself in Champ Car racing and so get back to Formula 1 via a year or two in America. The American scene is pretty closed up at the moment with the news that Cristiano da Matta has signed to drive for the PKV Racing team alongside Jimmy Vasser. It seems that Kevin Kalkhoven's team does not want to run a third car, which has released several other drivers onto the Champ Car market, notably Bjorn Wirdheim. There is the possibility of a third drive with Forsythe Championship Racing alongside Paul Tracy and Rodolfo Lavin but that will involve bringing money. There might be a chance of a third drive at Newman Haas Racing alongside Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira. The team was looking at running a third car for da Matta but gave up on the idea because of lack of cash. If Pizzonia could find some backing he might get that drive. That leaves Rocketsports which has a seat open next to Alex Tagliani, although the team is expected to sign up another F1 aspirant Ryan Hunter-Reay.
The final possibility could be a deal with RuSport but that would involve the team running a third car alongside AJ Allmendinger and Justin Wilson. The only other team with a vague hope of a chance of success is Keith Wiggins's HVM but it too is looking for money.
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