Herbert linked to Williams F1 test drive

Johnny Herbert is the latest star name to be linked to a 2001 Formula 1 test drive.

Herbert linked to Williams F1 test drive

The 36-year-old is one of a number of candidates being considered by the Williams-BMW team due to the imminent departure of its current test driver, FIA Formula 3000 Champion Bruno Junqueira, to Champ Cars next season.

The three-time Grand Prix winner, who is released from his Jaguar Racing contract after Sunday's Malaysian Grand Prix, had been hoping to find a berth in Champ Cars for 2001. Jaguar parent company Ford is active in Champ Cars, but with top-line Ford-powered drives scarce, Herbert's chances appear to be fading Stateside.

Mark Blundell is another former F1 driver said to be on Williams' list. The former McLaren GP driver will part company with the PacWest Champ Car team after the CART series' Fontana finale on October 29.

Should Herbert or Blundell join the Grove-based team, they would add to a growing trend of F1 teams adding established GP drivers to their rosters, rather than up-and-coming talents. Jordan has signed BAR refugee Ricardo Zonta, Ferrari retains the services of Luca Badoer and McLaren is poised to announce Alexander Wurz as its 2001 tester.

Wurz's predecessor at McLaren, former Prost driver Olivier Panis, has shown the wisdom of taking a calculated gamble and stepping back into a testing role by landing a race seat with BAR for next year.


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