Antonia Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld are vying to be Mark Webber’s team-mate at Williams-BMW and will test head-to-head at Jerez today. The drivers are so closely matched that Sir Frank Williams says he may need to “flip a coin” to make his decision.
Antonia Pizzonia and Nick Heidfeld are vying to be Mark Webber’s team-mate at Williams-BMW and will test head to head at Jerez today. The drivers are so closely matched that Sir Frank Williams says he may need to “flip a coin” to make his decision.
Heidfeld staked his claim on Monday when he clocked a best lap of 1:17,457 at the Spanish circuit. The next day, Webber set the pace and his fastest lap time, 1:16,558, was just over two-tenths of a second faster than that of the German.
On Wednesday, Pizzonia substituted Heidfeld, but the Brazilian experienced a number of technical problems which prohibited him from running at full pace. Webber set the quickest time of the session while conducting tyre evaluations in the interim FW26.
Heidfeld and Pizzonia will both be in action on Thursday - the penultimate day of the test. Could the order of the session’s timesheet decide the drivers’ fates? "I hope there will be some sort of certainty," Sir Frank said recently. "I don't know - maybe we'll have to flip a coin”.
The Williams team principal said Pizzonia had been a shoe-in until Heidfeld - a former Sauber, Prost and Jordan driver - became a candidate at BMW's request. Sir Frank added that although the two drivers had very different personalities, they were “quite evenly matched” in terms of outright pace.
When Ferrari’s Rubens Barrichello was asked which of the two candidates deserved to fill the remaining seat at Williams-BMW, the Brazilian said: “I think Heidfeld is a very good driver. He deserves to be in Formula One, that’s for sure. We saw that in F3000 when he won the championship, he’s a good driver, he behaves quite well on the race track so he’s a good guy to have in Formula One.
“On the other hand, I’m a friend of the Brazilian’s, so it’s hard to know. They are both very talented so I hope both can have a job in Formula One,” Rubinho added.
Original article from Car