Heidfeld delighted with drive

New Williams signing Nick Heidfeld has expressed his delight at being selected for the second race seat alongside Mark Webber. The German spent six weeks under intense scrutiny, alongside Antonio Pizzonia, during winter testing as the team evaluated which of them was the better option

Heidfeld delighted with drive

For Heidfeld, who played the role of backmarker with the underfinanced Jordan team in 2004, this is the chance of a lifetime. The German had been facing a year on the sidelines as a test driver, but managed to convince the Williams team that he deserved a chance in a top team more than Pizzonia.

"I really wanted this job," said Heidfeld. "Driving for the BMW Williams team is the greatest opportunity of my career. I will do everything I can to show that I deserve this place and I'm counting the days to the first grand prix.

"'Racing' against Antonio was a lot of fun. He's a great team-mate. I respect him and I would also have taken on the job of test driver."

Pizzonia was considered a shoe-in for the drive at the end of last year, but after Heidfeld was given the chance to test at Jerez after the 2004 season, Williams decided to reconsider its options and pitched the two drivers into a head-to-head test programme.

"It wasn't an easy decision for us to make," said Frank Williams, who is believed to have told the drivers just five minutes before the announcement. "There was little to choose between the two of them, and we were in the fortunate position to be able to choose between two drivers who would be a credit to any F1 team.

Ultimately, however, it is Nick who has got our vote, but I am delighted to have the strength in depth with Antonio taking up the position of official test and reserve driver."

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