Pizzonia impresses Williams

Both Frank Williams and Patrick Head were appreciative of Antonio Pizzonia's drive at Monza in what is likely to be his final race for the team this year. Head labelled Pizzonia's performance 'highly impressive' even if it went largely unnoticed after he was hit by Olivier Panis's Toyota on the opening lap

Pizzonia impresses Williams

Although Pizzonia qualified eighth while team-mate Juan Pablo Montoya lined up on the front row, Williams was quick to point out that Pizzonia suffered through the grid being so close and was carrying more fuel than Montoya. He ran an extra three laps before his first stop and with the fuel weights taken into account, the real 0.26s qualifying deficit becomes more like 0.01s.

The Brazilian was hit by Panis at the second chicane on lap 1, spun, and completed the opening lap dead last. Interestingly, he was 33.87s behind Rubens Barrichello at the end of the opening lap and closer to him (33.75s) when he crossed the line seventh at the end of the race!

"It was very disappointing," Pizzonia said, "because although I was starting eighth I had more fuel than a lot of those around me on the grid and I knew I was in good shape for the race. I could have finished on the podium."

Pizzonia was comfortably the quickest Michelin runner in the race, setting a best lap of 1m22.246s, while the BARs of Takuma Sato and Jenson Button recorded 1m22.66s and 1m22.67s respectively.

With Ralf Schumacher due to test at Silverstone this week ahead of an anticipated return to the Williams race team in China, Pizzonia's tenure of the second Williams seems to be at an end.

"I have nothing sorted for next year," he confirmed on Sunday night. "We are obviously talking to a couple of teams but I would rather test for Williams than race for one of the small teams." Pizzonia said he is not in contention for the Sauber drive. "I can't see them employing two Brazilians," he smiled.

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