FEBRUARY 23, 2005

Pizzonia and Williams

Antonio Pizzonia is staying with Williams - or at least that is what the team says. When one asks the Brazilian driver about his thoughts the answer is rather less clear cut. And Pizzonia's manager Jayme Brito has made two trips in recent weeks to the United States to talk with Champ Car teams. Pizzonia was very disappointed when he discovered that the team was not signing him up as a second driver this year, having waited while other seats disappeared in the belief that Williams would take him. The decision to take Nick Heidfeld instead was one that was obviously influenced by BMW, and Pizzonia feels aggrieved that the team is now wanting to block his career in open-wheeler racing. Pizzonia, however, has a Williams contract to test and thus if he wants to get out of that he will have to face the consequences. However Williams has nothing to gain from taking legal action against Pizzonia. The team needs a test driver with the right kind of experience and Pizzonia either needs a reason to stay and delay plans to go racing until 2006. The best way for the dispute to be settled would be for Williams to pay Pizzonia to feel better about staying where he is. If the team chooses to nickel and dime him he may still walk.