Williams pair 'evenly matched'

Sir Frank Williams has admitted that his team is finding it very difficult to make a choice between Antonio Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld as it searches for a partner for Mark Webber in 2005

Williams pair 'evenly matched'

The pair will test again in the coming weeks before one of them is selected in time for the team's new chassis launch on 31 January.

"It is going to be fairly exhaustive," said Williams of the testing process. "Maybe after the first test it will be black and white and there is the light, but I don't think so. They are quite different drivers and very evenly matched in certain respects.

"I hope (we can get) some sort of certainty of which driver is quicker. At the end of the day if they are both the same I don't know what we will do... maybe toss a coin!"

Williams revealed that Pizzonia had been on the brink of securing a full-time race seat until BMW encouraged the team to consider Heidfeld as an alternative.

"We were on a course for Antonio, but Nick's name came up a few times in conversation and BMW said, 'look Frank and Patrick, this guy might be good, why don't you have a look at him?'" said Williams. "He is very quick. So that is why we will be testing him again."

He denied that BMW would prefer the team to choose Heidfeld because of his German nationality.

"No. I always thought that what is important to them (BMW) is results and good press, especially in Germany," said Williams.

The team has had to find replacements not just for former race drivers Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher - who left for McLaren and Toyota respectively - but also for its former test driver Marc Gene, who has departed for Ferrari after four seasons as Williams' primary reserve driver. Williams hopes that, whatever the outcome of the forthcoming tests, both Pizzonia and Heidfeld will remain with the team so that whichever is not chosen for the race seat can take Gene's place.

"Whoever loses will still be offered a test drive," he confirmed.

shares
comments
Ralf: Toyota a Better Bet than Williams

Previous article

Ralf: Toyota a Better Bet than Williams

Next article

JPM and Ralf have no problems

JPM and Ralf have no problems
Load comments
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021