Fisichella linked with Williams move

AUTOSPORT understands that Brazilian Grand Prix winner Giancarlo Fisichella has held discussions with Sir Frank Williams concerning a future move to the Williams-BMW squad

Fisichella linked with Williams move

Paddock rumour at Imola suggests that Fisichella dined with Williams on Thursday evening, although the Italian's recently appointed manager, Enrico Zanarini, dismissed this as "total fabrication". Our sources have confirmed that Fisichella cancelled an arrangement that had been scheduled for that evening, which would have allowed for his discussion with the Williams chief.

A source at Jordan said: "Yeah, we've heard the stories too and it's true that we were expecting him to have dinner here and he went somewhere else. More than that we cannot say."

Fisichella has allegedly had his Jordan salary halved to $4.5million this year and, at the age of 30, is looking for his chance with a top team sooner rather than later. The door is believed to be closed to Fisichella at Ferrari, while McLaren has been less than receptive to approaches in the past.

Fisichella is highly rated in the paddock and there has been constant undercurrents, publicly denied by Williams, that Ralf Schumacher is under pressure for his place in the team. These were fuelled in Brazil by technical director Patrick Head publicly pointing out that if Ralf felt he had oversteer, perhaps he might like to use the steering wheel to control it...

The complication is that Schumacher Jr is one of F1's most highly paid drivers, with a retainer believed to be in the region of £10 million. He is also under contract to Williams until the end of 2004. Dropping him would therefore involve a pay-off unless he was in breach of contract in any way.

There would be nothing to stop Williams signing an option with Fisichella for the 2005 season, however.

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