Alex Wurz is looking forward to his race debut with McLaren on Sunday at Imola and is not concerned that it's been a while since he was in competition. Wurz last raced with Benetton in 2000 so four years is quite some time to be on the sidelines.
Alex Wurz is looking forward to his race debut with McLaren on Sunday at Imola and is not concerned that it's been a while since he was in competition. Wurz last raced with Benetton in 2000 so four years is quite some time to be on the sidelines. The Austrian gets his chance this weekend while Juan Pablo Montoya is still recovering from a shoulder injury.
"At the end of the day, we practice a lot of starts, so to play with the throttle and clutch I am really comfortable because we do a lot of starts," he said in regard to getting off the line. "The rest will come automatically."
"I am not worried. I did a good job when I started Formula One. I have a lot more experience now, I feel much more ready for the challenge so I don't think there is an issue at all."
Pedro de la Rosa deputized for Montoya in Bahrain and Wurz thinks he and his fellow tester are a strong pairing. "At the end of the day I very much enjoyed Pedro's race. It had high entertainment factor on TV and I've said it many times and so has he, but I think the test driver duo at McLaren is probably better than some of the race driver duos in F1."
"He and I are really pushing hard in every test, and now also every Friday (at races), whoever has the opportunity. He showed his potential in Bahrain and I hope I have the opportunity to show mine over the next few days."
Montoya is expected to make his return at the next race in Spain so Wurz is going to make the most of his chance in the spotlight. "I'm here to drive as quick as I can, full stop, that's it," he said.
"Opportunities like this don't come up every day for a race driver to race for west McLaren Mercedes, which is one of the most successful teams in Formula One, and after many many years dreaming I've got this opportunity, so it's here."
"It would be wrong not to enjoy it but on the other hand it's… I wouldn't say pressure, but it's something special, which you realise when you sit in the car and you're out there."
Wurz hasn't had a lot of time in the McLaren MP4-20 due to being so tall, but the difficulties were overcome in Bahrain and the Austrian is now comfortable behind the wheel. "Getting any driver comfortable, irrespective of size, is always difficult," said team boss Ron Dennis. "If they are a little taller than average, it's just a bit more challenging."