Zanardi to leave Williams

Italian driver Alex Zanardi will not race with the Williams Formula One team in 2000.

Zanardi to leave Williams

After completing just one year of a two-year contract with the team, Zanardi is to part company with the Grove-based outfit.

It is thought the 33-year-old could well retire from racing altogether.

Williams has not yet lined up a replacement for the 33-year-old.

But, it is said to be considering BAR driver Jacques Villeneuve, former F1 driver Jos Verstappen and Olivier Panis - although he has been confirmed as McLaren test driver next season.

Former Williams test driver Juan Pablo Montoya - who won this year's CART championship series in his rookie year - has also been mooted as a possible replacement. However, he is under contract to Chip Ganassi's Champ Car team.

Zanardi returned to the Formula One fold this year, after clinching two CART series title for Ganassi Racing in 1997 and 1998.

But, poor reliability, and his inability to adapt to F1 developments have seen him struggle this season. He finished the year without scoring a single point.

Meanwhile, team-mate Ralf Schumacher has impressed with a string of good performances, which earned him 35 points - and sixth place in this year's drivers' championship.

Zanardi previously raced in F1 between 1991 and 1995, driving for Jordan, Minardi and Team Lotus. He was also test driver at Benetton in 1992.

For the full story behind Zanardi's departure, read this week's edition of Autosport magazine - available Thursday.

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