Honda F1 website

NOVEMBER 29, 2005

BMW drivers

The news that Gary Paffett is to play a more regular role in McLaren test driving this year can only lead to speculation that one of the current test drivers may be on the move and it is perhaps inevitable that this will lead to suggestions that Alexander Wurz could be on his way to BMW Sauber. Wurz has been McLaren test driver for four seasons and has had only one race in that period, although prior to that he spent three seasons racing for Benetton. Now 31, Wurz still wants to race and did a good job when he stood in for Juan Pablo Montoya at Imola earlier this year, finishing third in a one-off event.

With most of the other rumoured BMW drivers having now left the battlefield, notably Dan Wheldon, who has signed to drive for Target Chip Ganassi Racing, and Antonio Pizzonia, who is looking for a job in Champ Cars, the way appears to be open for Wurz, depending on whether or not he can get out of his McLaren deal. If there is a race drive on offer this is possible but it is not clear whether he could join BMW Sauber as a test driver. Certainly Wurz has an enormous amount of experience and knowledge of the MP4-20, the best car in F1 in 2005, and that would be valuable information for the new BMW-run team. The problem remains that Jacques Villeneuve has a contract with the team which is still valid and unless BMW wish to pay him off, he is going to be racing for the team next year.