Gene close to Ferrari deal

Marc Gene is expected to be named by Ferrari as its second test driver by the end of the week according to reports in the Spanish press. The move, predicted exclusively by autosport.com in October, comes after the Spaniard was released from his Williams contract last month

Gene close to Ferrari deal

Gene has been a test driver at Williams since 2001 and impressed the outfit with his dedication and technical feedback - especially with his work on developing BMW's V10 engines.

Sources claim that Williams decided against renewing Gene's contract after disappointing race performances in the French and British Grands Prix while standing in for Ralf Schumacher. The Spaniard was then seen speaking at length to Michael Schumacher at Jerez prior to the winter testing ban.

Gene's signature on a contract is considered a major coup for Ferrari because of the vast knowledge the Spaniard has accrued of Williams' ultra-powerful BMW P84 engine and the team's Michelin tyres.

The news will also come as a further blow to David Coulthard's hopes of retaining links with a top team in Formula 1. The Scot admitted to Autosport last week that he had had preliminary discussions with Ferrari and Renault about a testing role should he fail to secure a race drive.

"If a sensible opportunity to race doesn't arise, then it would be foolish to rule out a serious testing opportunity," he said. "I have had conversations along these lines and if that would enable me to stay in F1 next year, with the freedom to return to racing whenever an opportunity came up, I wouldn't turn it away."

Williams is to run back-to-back tests in early December for Anthony Davidson and Nick Heidfeld to evaluate whether either is worthy of its second race seat. The Williams team's current test driver Antonio Pizzonia is also under consideration for the drive and it is thought likely that one of this trio could also be retained as the team's test driver.

shares
comments
Williams sets January date

Previous article

Williams sets January date

Next article

San Marino GP safe to 2009

San Marino GP safe to 2009
Load comments
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021