Pizzonia revives his career

On Thursday afternoon Antonia Pizzonia showed why he feels that he was treated badly at Jaguar Racing last year by taking his 2003 Williams-BMW around the Valencia track in a new lap record, beating Juan Pablo Montoya by two-tenths of a second and going half a second quicker than Ralf Schumacher. Soon afterwards Ralf began complaining of stomach pains and packed up and went home.

Pizzonia's return to Williams was decided before this test began and now it seems the Amazon driver has his sights set on a new target, convincing the team that he should be one of the drivers in 2005 when both Juan Pablo Montoya and Schumacher are due to depart: Montoya to McLaren and, if a deal can be sorted out, Schumacher to Toyota. Sources close to the deal say that Ralf and Toyota are well-advanced in their negotiations. Schumacher is unhappy that Williams wants to cut his salary from what is estimated to be around $12m this year to $7m in 2005. Toyota is believed to be offering him $15m.

Williams is after Jenson Button and Mark Webber and it is possible that both could be signed by the Grove team in 2005 but if BAR-Honda holds on to Button (by fulfilling a performance clause in the contract) there could be a job for Pizzonia.

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