Williams confirmed on August 2nd that Alex Wurz will race alongside Nico Rosberg for the team in 2007. Wurz joined Williams as test and third driver this season after holding the same role at McLaren for five years. His last full time role as a...
Williams confirmed on August 2nd that Alex Wurz will race alongside Nico Rosberg for the team in 2007. Wurz joined Williams as test and third driver this season after holding the same role at McLaren for five years. His last full time role as a race driver was with Benetton in the late nineties. He replaces Mark Webber, whose future is currently unknown.
"My natural habitat is racing, so I couldn't be happier to have received Williams' vote of confidence for this job next season," said Wurz. "Of course I know the team well having been a part of the race programme at every Grand Prix this season, but now my role takes on additional responsibility and I am really looking forward to this."
Team boss Frank Williams commented: "Alex brings us important technical continuity and understanding of the car and as well as being an excellent communicator with our engineers, he is ultra-competitive during the Friday 'full tank' practice sessions."
"Alex will be a great racing driver for us as he is one of the few men I have seen in a wheel banging confrontation with Michael Schumacher and come out on top!"
Wurz last raced at Imola in 2005, when deputising for the injured Juan Pablo Montoya at McLaren, and finished fourth. He was later promoted to third when Jenson Button and Honda were disqualified.
Rosberg also joined Williams this year and has recently had a torrid time of things after a strong start to the season. However, he's still learning and Williams is confident he will fulfil his potential. "He (Rosberg) has shown great promise so far in his debut season and I know he will build on this with every race," said the team boss.
Rosberg is happy to continue with Williams. "Stability and continuity are very important for me in the early stages of my Formula One career, so I am really pleased that we are now set for next year and that I will continue to work with Alex," he remarked. "I have learnt a lot from the team and I hope I have contributed my fair share too, but now we have the basis to step it up for the remainder of this season and next."
Williams runs Cosworth engines this season but next year Rosberg and Wurz will be Toyota powered. Williams said the driver/engine package is the basis for the long-term future. "2006 has been a pretty tough season so far and all three of our drivers have proved to be enormously resilient and committed."
"However, we are seeing the beginnings of a performance upswing which we are determined to maintain. Together with our recent announcement regarding our Toyota engine partnership, we are starting to put in place some of the cornerstones of a competitive team for the rest of this season and into the future."
Williams' option on Webber expired at the beginning of this week -- the Australian was reported to be in talks with the team to renegotiate his contract but evidently an agreement was not reached. Managed by Flavio Briatore, Webber is speculated to be heading to the vacant Renault race seat.
"I must commend Mark Webber for his contribution to the team over the past two seasons as he has been a credit to himself and Williams and has never let up in his pursuit of competitive success," said Williams. "I know Mark will give his all until the end of the season and we wish him well in his future arrangements."