INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Jan. 21, 2000 -- Alex Zanardi and the Williams-BMW team have parted company after a disappointing first season together in the 1999 Formula One World Championship, according to a statement released by the team. Two-time...
INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Jan. 21, 2000 -- Alex Zanardi and the Williams-BMW team have parted company after a disappointing first season together in the 1999 Formula One World Championship, according to a statement released by the team.
Two-time CART champion Zanardi struggled last year in his return to F1 and failed to score a single point for the Williams team. Although Zanardi had a year remaining in his contract, the Williams team released a statement Jan. 21 that said:
"WilliamsF1 and Alex Zanardi announced today a joint decision to terminate their Formula One relationship, with the effect that Alex Zanardi will not drive for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team in 2000. This decision follows a difficult 1999 season for Alex and WilliamsF1.
"WilliamsF1 would like to thank Alex for his efforts for the team in 1999 and wish him every success in the future." Zanardi's replacement will be either Britain's Jenson Button, 20, or Brazil' s Bruno Junqueira, 23. Both have tested for Williams at Spain's Jerez and Barcelona circuits, but weather and mechanical problems have limited their number of laps.
Williams-BMW will unveil its new car and name its new principal sponsor Jan. 24 at the Barcelona circuit, and the team hopes to announce which of these two drivers will be Ralf Schumacher's teammate in the 2000 season. The team has stated, however, that if the two prospective drivers do not get enough testing mileage before Jan. 24 the decision will be delayed until sometime before the end of the month.
Button raced in the competitive British Formula 3 series last year. He won a race and placed third in the points. Junqueira drove for the Williams Petrobras team in the FIA Formula 3000 Championship last season. He scored one victory and tied for fifth in the championship.