Wurz Decides to Stay at McLaren

Alex Wurz will remain McLaren's third driver in 2004, the team and the Austrian re-affirmed today.

Wurz Decides to Stay at McLaren

Alex Wurz will remain McLaren's third driver in 2004, the team and the Austrian re-affirmed today.

Wurz had already been announced as McLaren's third driver earlier this year, however he remained a candidate for a Jaguar seat next year and had an option to leave McLaren before the end of December 2003.

However Wurz has now told the team he wishes to stay with McLaren, stating: "I have decided to stay with the McLaren Mercedes team as their third driver. It is no secret that I have been on the shortlist for the second race-seat at Jaguar Racing, which has been a privilege.

"However with McLaren's 2004 testing programme having already begun I felt it necessary to take my future into my own hands so as to fully focus on the season's preparation. McLaren Mercedes is a loyal and rewarding team to be part of, and I believe they offer me the best future."

"Alex's contribution during the past three years has been immense and everybody in the team is pleased that our relationship will continue," said McLaren Racing's Managing Director Martin Whitmarsh.

"We knew that there were opportunities for Alex to get back into racing and would have supported him in whatever decision he made. However the fact that he will remain with the team is positive and will help to further emphasise our challenge for the 2004 Formula One World Championships."

"We all had every understanding for Alex's ambitions to go back to racing in Formula One", said Norbert Haug, Vice-President of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. "The fact that he received offers from other teams clearly shows that he is seen as one of the drivers deserving a seat as a permanent Formula One racing driver. McLaren, as well as Mercedes-Benz, supported Alex in his plans to make his understandable wish come true.

"However we all are very pleased that Alex has taken the decision to stay with Team McLaren Mercedes. He has contributed a lot to our technical development in the past three years and Mercedes-Benz is particularly happy to have in Alex a proven ambassador for our brand."

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