Frank Williams lauds Pizzonia

Williams team boss Frank Williams has praised the efforts and work ethic of test driver Antonio Pizzonia following the Brazilian's solid performance in testing at Jerez this week where he set the pace on two out of the three test days

Frank Williams lauds Pizzonia

It will be music to Pizzonia's ears after a depressing couple of years in F1 that have failed to deliver. F1's 'Jungle Boy' was full of promise when he was taken on at Jaguar Racing alongside Australian Mark Webber. Disappointed with his results, though, the team decided to replace the Brazilian with Briton's Justin Wilson at the German Grand Prix.

While heads shook and mouths tutted, one man kept the faith in Pizzonia and even drafted him in to replace Marc Gene in four races this year while race driver Ralf Schumacher was sidelined following his US Grand Prix smash.

"All we know is that when he's driving a Williams BMW he's very competitive," Williams said. "Whether it's testing or racing, his application is exactly the same."

Pizzonia feels his improved form is a result of the Williams team itself, which he says has always stuck by him.

"I knew I had a lot of support from Williams over the years, even when I was at Jaguar, and that's always been great," he said. "To be honest it was really good to come back to Williams because I've always loved them as a team - ever since I was nine or ten I've dreamed of being with the team."

Pizzonia is thought to be top of Williams' list of drivers for 2005 should Jenson Button be unable to take up the reins of the second seat. The Contracts Recognition Board, which will decide whether Button is contracted to Williams or BAR next year, is set to convene tomorrow (Saturday) with an announcement expected on Monday or Tuesday.

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