JANUARY 4, 1999

Muller for BMW

JORG MULLER is to be BMW's test driver this year.

JORG MULLER is to be BMW's test driver this year. The highly-rated but under-used German driver has been waiting for a chance in Formula 1 since he won the International Formula 3000 title in 1996 for the RSM Marko team. Muller spent 1997 as Arrows test driver and then moved to Sauber last year.

The BMW development work will begin as soon as BMW has completed an engine to go into the back of a Williams FW20 chassis which is already waiting in Munich. The aim is to do as many miles as possible this year with developments of the BMW V10 engine so that it is sufficiently powerful and reliable for Williams to use in 2000. Muller is hoping that the deal will result in a chance to drive for Williams in 2001 or 2002 although by then he will be 32 years old. It is worth noting, however, that Damon Hill did not get into F1 on a regular basis until he was 32. Muller is also thought likely to be a member of the Williams BMW sportscar team at Le Mans.

Although he is giving up the testing work for Sauber, Muller will remain Sauber's reserve driver - in case something happens to Jean Alesi or Pedro Diniz.