CHAMPCAR/CART: Zanardi not yet committed for 1998

Brooklyn, MI -- 98-07-25 (MNI) Alex Zanardi said today that he has not yet signed for anyone for next year. He feels he has a good future with CART, but he is still also talking with teams in Formula One. "You can be a success in either ...

Brooklyn, MI -- 98-07-25 (MNI)

Alex Zanardi said today that he has not yet signed for anyone for next year. He feels he has a good future with CART, but he is still also talking with teams in Formula One. "You can be a success in either series -- there is no limit to what you can accomplish in either series."

At present, he's mainly concerned with winning races here. "The most important race is the next one."

When asked if Williams, his rumored F1 team for 1999, can be competitive next year, he said "Williams may not have so good a car this year, but they have a good team," the implication being that they have the pieces in place and can turn things around for next year. With Williams BMW engine deal due in 2000, Zanardi surely will have the long-term perspective in mind anyway.

The ideal team, says Zanardi, would be with Ferrari with himself and three-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher as drivers, but "that option is not open to me."

That said, Zanardi is clearly not desperate to make the move back to Europe. "In CART I can be myself. I'm happy, I like doing doughnuts, I'm just a crazy Italian. I'm very happy in the United States."

The negotiations will surely be tough, though. I am an open book [to current team principal Chip Ganassi]. Chip knows I'll screw him out of every cent he's got when we get to the table."

Zanardi thinks that some decision will have to be made by mid-August as to what he will be doing next year. While he appears happy here, and well on his way to a second consecutive CART championship, he's definitely still hedging his bets. "Any decision on moving ... I want to be happy; be competitive; and win races. When it's just work and not a passion, I won't race any more."

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , IndyCar
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Alex Zanardi , Chip Ganassi
Teams Ferrari , Williams