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Rosberg and Priaulx join Williams 23 Apr 2005

Nico Rosberg (FIN) ART. GP2, Rd 1, San Marino Grand Prix, Preparations, Imola, Italy, 21 April 2005. World © Capilitan/Sutton Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) Williams BMW FW26. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 8 December 2004. World © McNeil/Sutton Andy Priaulx (GBR) BMW Team Germany. Guia Touring Car Race, Guia Circuit, Macau, China, 17-21 November 2004. World © Capilitan/Sutton  Patrick Head (GBR) Williams Technical Director. Formula One Testing, Jerez, Spain, 9 December 2004. World © McNeil/Sutton

Nico Rosberg has been appointed as Williams's second official test driver for the 2005 season. The 19-year-old will undertake his first testing duties next Tuesday at Silverstone.

Rosberg, son of Formula One world champion, Keke, who won his title with Williams in 1982, first sat behind the wheel of a Formula One car on December 3, 2002 in Barcelona, an opportunity awarded by Williams engine partners BMW in recognition of his achievements in the German Formula BMW ADAC Championship, during which Rosberg won an impressive nine of 20 races.

At 17 years of age, Rosberg was the youngest driver ever to take part in a Formula One test. His performance in Barcelona earned him two further runs with the team, first in Jerez in December 2003 and again in January 2004 in Barcelona.

Working alongside Antonio Pizzonia, the German will play a key role in the ongoing development of the Williams FW27, assisting the team in the 2005 championship. In addition to his Formula One responsibilities, Rosberg will also be contesting the new GP2 Series with the ART Grand Prix Team in 2005.

"I'm really happy that I've been offered this opportunity,”said a delighted Rosberg. “I'm now looking forward to helping the team and I'm sure I'll be able to do a good job. Formula One testing will also help me in GP2 as I will be in a position to learn so much more about the technical processes and about how the sport works at the highest level. Hopefully this will help me progress as a driver as well."

"We are delighted to have another talented Rosberg in the team," added team principal Frank Williams.

While Rosberg will regularly be on the track as an official test driver, reigning European Touring Car Champion, Andy Priaulx, will also be carrying out certain duties for Williams this season.

Following a successful test with the team in January this year, an invitation extended by BMW in recognition of his efforts in winning the 2004 European Touring Car Championship, the British driver will be conducting driving duties at additional testing sessions and marketing days, including an appearance at the BMW Power Festival at Rockingham at the end of May.

On his new role, Priaulx commented: "I'm really pleased that my relationship with the BMW WilliamsF1 Team is developing, and I hope that my single-seater experience, combined with my working methods, will make a positive contribution to the team's testing programme."

While Priaulx is looking forward to driving for the Williams Formula One team, his main focus for 2005 will be on his role as a BMW works driver in the new FIA World Touring Car Championship.