Panis weighs up his options for 2003

Olivier Panis is banking on his experience to secure a Formula 1 race drive for 2003, following British American Racing's signing of Jenson Button

Panis weighs up his options for 2003

Frenchman Panis has competed in F1 since 1994, only missing races after breaking his leg in the 1997 Canadian GP and taking the role of test driver at McLaren in 2000. He believes the knowledge of F1 he has built up in that time will guarantee him a future in the sport beyond the end of this season.

Asked whether younger drivers will threaten his chances of a drive, the 35-year-old said: "I don't think so, because everybody knows with an experienced driver like me, when we have a car, we do the job. We have some good young drivers, but they make so many mistakes. When teams need points they also need drivers with experience to develop the car."

Panis' options for next season could include Sauber, Jaguar and Toyota, all of whom have yet to confirm their 2003 line-ups. "We have two or three teams that we talk with," he said. "I want to continue in F1. I'm quite fit, and performing well. If I can sign a two-year contract I'll be very happy with that. If I change team we'll need two years to develop the car well.

"I continue to speak with David Richards, because he wants to keep me, and also [my managers] Keke Rosberg and Didier Cotton are looking at different options, and now we need to wait and see and try the best one."

Heinz-Harald Frentzen could play a role in determining Panis' future. The German, who is a free agent after spliting with Arrows, has been linked with just about every available drive and is the pivitol figure in the driver market.

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Olivier Panis Q&A

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