The Wizards of Oz 03 Aug 2004
Mark Webber has spoken further on his decision to move from Jaguar to Williams for next season, saying that he is particularly looking forward to working with the team's new Technical Director and fellow Australian Sam Michael.
Webber views the move to Williams as being "the most important cornerstone of my career so far", adding that "when you've got someone like Frank [Williams] ringing you quite a lot, it's pretty flattering".
Both Webber and Michael hail from News South Wales in Australia, and will need to work closely to take the Williams team back on terms with Ferrari and even if they are to match the challenge posed by Renault and BAR.
"I hadn't really spoken to Sam until this year", says Webber, "I didn't know him at all. Sam is obviously on a pretty similar channel to me, which is very useful from the start. That's going to be healthy for us, I hope".
Not that Webber thinks that nationality matters at Williams:
"I just know that if Patrick and Frank give someone some wings and give them an opportunity, then obviously they've got some respect for the guy, whatever nationality he is".
Meanwhile, Webber's former Jaguar team-mate, Antonio Pizzonia, has been speaking of his joy at returning to a race drive at the Hockenheim Grand Prix last week, substituting for the injured Ralf Schumacher. Despite strong early pace, finishing the first qualifying session is second place behind Juan Pablo Montoya, he dropped back to 11th place after the second qualifying session, starting the race in 10th place, after Jenson Button's 10 place grid penalty had dropped him right down the order.
"It was a good lesson" Pizzonia said of the second qualifying session, "in testing if you make a mistake, or you make one with the car, you always have a second chance. Here we changed the car and it was quite different, I learned a lot from that".
In the race itself Pizzonia finished in seventh place, earning his first two Championship points in the process - but finishing one place behind Mark Webber's Jaguar.
"It felt great to be back racing," said Pizzonia, "we scored two points, but it could be better. I know I can do a good job."
It will be interesting to see if he will be given the chance.