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Thread: Who will be Williams 2005 drivers?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Haberfield, Sydney

    Who will be Williams 2005 drivers?

    Time for a bit of speculation here. As we know, JPM is leaving Williams next year, and Ralph is understood to be going to either Toyota or Renault. So who will the Williams drivers be next year?

    Mark Webber is apparantly favourite for the seat and Button has also been rumoured to have a strong chance. However, both are tied into contracts for next year, and with their respective teams performing much more strongly it remains to be seen whether either would move to Williams next year. Also, the more podiums/front row starts each driver records will make it much more expensive for Williams to buy out either contract. It has been suggested that Webber in particular may be better off to stay where he is. With his star rising and with a good car under him, Ford may be convinced to throw much more money at Jaguar and ensure he stays. Remember, Ford could outspend every other team except Toyota if it chose to do so (it is the world's 3rd largest car co after all). Button is in a similar position, with BAR starting to come good and Honda capable of spending the money necessary as well. Williams may in fact be a backwards move for either Webber or Button.

    So who does that leave?
    In recent days 2003 IRL champion Scott Dixon tested for Williams at Paul Ricard and came within tenths of the best time set by Ralph Schumacher. It raises the question, is Williams considering employing new drivers from outside F1? Dixon is certainly considered to have star potential for the future and his services would be cheap to purchase.
    Frank Williams is also understood to think that Pizzonia deserves another chance, and he has tested well this year in comparison to Ralph and JPM.
    Also, Coulthard is leaving McLaren, so it is a possibility he could be under consideration. Other possibilities are Trulli or Fisichella.

    Personally, I hope that Webber and Dixon end up at Williams, but that is patriotism talking (I'm a NZer living in Australia) as much as anything else. I do think Dixon has a good chance and I doubt Webber will leave Jaguar now. So most likely it will be Dixon and either Pizzonia or Fisichella (who surely deserves a spot in a front running team).

    What does everyone think? Any rumours? Speculation?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Hamilton, New Zealand

    Williams 2005 drivers - my theory

    hey all.
    the speculation as to who will be the Williams BMW drivers for 2005 is of much interest.
    personally, i agree with motorsportnerd about Scott Dixon getting his big break (finally) in the big leagues, but, like him, that would be my patriotism speaking (being a kiwi and all).
    i do believe he has a shot, but i'm inclined to believe that either Button, Webber or Mark Gene would be the ones in line to fill the one, maybe two seats becoming vacant this year. Mark Gene had a fair showing at the one GP he contested at the end of last year and i believe he could get a shot.
    i'm inclined to think that Pizzonia will NOT get a crack, because if he is anything like last year, Sir Frank is going to look rather stupid for putting him in.
    Fisichella i feel, like motorsportnerd, deserves a crack in a decent team, after how many years of trundling around mid or back field in cars that are frankly, crap... but i'm not sure Sir Frank will see it that way.
    if Webber, Button or both are snapped up for the seats, i just hope that the teams with then vacant seats will ahve the sense to give young Scott Dixon a chance to test with them as well, and if he does well, give him a drive (of the two, i'd rather see him in a BAR, but hey).
    so thats my perspective. how about some more?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    St Marys Western Sydney
    When i first heard about Ralf having talks with Flavio Briatore and the possibility of him moving to Renault, i was sure that meant the end of the rumours that Briatore wanted Webber in the Renault car and with Montoya leaving as well, Williams would be sure to snap up Webber and Button both, but as you said both Ford and Honda have alot of money to invest in Jaguar and BAR, and not only that but BAR has Prodrive working with them as well and if Prodrive spend anything in F1 like they do in V8 Supercars then they won't stop at any monetary figure to keep what they feel a valuable driver lineup. I would like for Webber to stay at Jaguar for a few more years as ever since hes been there theyve only been improving in car speed so maybe once the R5 tackles some of its reliability issues, he'll be backing up his 2nd qualifying position at Sepang with a podium finish. I think as it stands, Webber's best finishing performance was way back in 2001 at the Australian Gran Prix where he avoided the turn 1 crash in the Minardi to come home 5th. Webber needs a big break though, whether it be the R5 pulls a stunner, he gets the Williams contract or anything like that but if he keeps with a team such as Jaguar who are behind the 8-ball in reliability he'll never get the crack at the championship everyone's predicting some day he'll take.
    I am the Stig

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Pennsylvania USA
    Williams should pick up DC and Marc Webber if possible. Nick Heidfeld wuld be a good choice also. I don't think he is able to show what he is capable of by riding with Jordan and Sauber.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Sydney AUS
    I'll be surprised if Ralf leaves Williams. For all of Willi Weber's posturing and bragging that he's been talking to Renault & Toyota, everybody knows that he's been trying to scare Frank Williams into giving Ralf a pay rise. Unfortunately for him, Frank called his bluff and will probably come out on top with a new contract with a low base salary plus a bonus which is performanced based.

    To replace JPM, Williams have the problem that both Webber and Button are contracted for next year and it will take more than a truck full of cash to release either of them.
    Dixon has just completed a 60 lap test with them and got within half a second of Ralf's times. He might just be a surprise for next year.
    I don't see that Williams will hire DC. Whilst having a lot of experience, he is past his prime. Plus his problems with qualifying don't make an appealing prospect. I see him filling in the shoes of whoever ends up in a Williams.

    I don't think we'll be sure of who is going until mid this season once Button and Webber have shown what they can do.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Haberfield, Sydney
    I read in an F1 magazine last night that BMW has a veto right over the selection of any driver who didn't make the top six in the championship the previous year. This is for marketing reasons. Could play into DCs hands and make it harder for Webber, Button, Fisichella, Heidfield, Dixon, Gene or Pizzonia to get a place... Although I agree that DC now past his prime.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Gene and either Button or Webber, whoever's cheaper.
    Would it be possible, to play forever?
    The conclusion reached was that a player is inevitably doomed to lose.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    Jenson Button and (hopefully) jos verstappen

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