Williams driver choice 'not easy'

Williams will almost certainly not rush into making a decision about whether Nick Heidfeld or Antonio Pizzonia will partner Mark Webber next year after technical director Sam Michael admitted on Friday that it was difficult to choose between the pair of them

Williams driver choice 'not easy'

Heidfeld and Pizzonia have tested alongside each other for the first time at Jerez in what team co-owner Patrick Head labelled a 'shoot-out', and tech chief Michael claims that both men have shone during their runs with the team.

Speaking to autosport.com, Michael said: "Nick is very competent and very fast in both the wet and the dry. He is a very good driver.

"But I would equally say that Pizzonia is exactly the same - he is competent, fast and he has responded very well (to Heidfeld's arrival)."

When asked whether the team had managed to reach a verdict on which driver it would likely put in the race seat next year, however, Michael insisted that it was too early to say that one candidate was favourite.

"I am not going to be drawn into anything," said Michael. "I am not going to say anything that may bias one driver over another. We will wait and see what is going to happen."

Despite much of the focus for this week's test at Jerez being on driver evaluation, Williams has also been making steady progress on its development for 2005 - and has got on top of the gearbox troubles that dogged recent testing.

"The tests have been good so far," added Michael. "We have been working on the reliability, especially on the gearbox that we have on both cars now.

"We have had a few problems, in Barcelona and last week in Jerez, but they are all solveable and we are on top of them."

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