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Wurz back for McLaren in Monaco 16 May 2005

Alex Wurz (AUT) McLaren Test Driver.
Formula One World Championship, Rd3, Bahrain Grand Prix, Practice, Bahrain International Circuit, Bahrain, 1 April 2005

Alexander Wurz will carry out third-driver duties for McLaren in Monte Carlo this weekend. It will be the third Grand Prix appearance of 2005 for Wurz, who crashed heavily during Formula One testing at Paul Ricard in France last week.

"I am happy to be back behind the wheel of the Team McLaren Mercedes third car this weekend in Monaco,” he said. “I have had the opportunity to race here three times before and it was a great experience, so I am looking forward to driving the MP4-20 on the circuit.”

Despite being McLaren’s official third driver, Wurz missed out on the third seat to Pedro de la Rosa at the season opening Australian and Malaysian Grands Prix, because he was too tall to fit in early versions of the MP4-20.

He drove the car for the first time in Friday practice in Bahrain, as de la Rosa got the race drive in place of the injured Juan Pablo Montoya. The roles were reversed in San Marino, where Wurz scored a podium finish, despite not having raced in almost five years.

With Montoya back in Spain, de la Rosa was given the Friday seat for his home race, but now Wurz will get the chance to impress at the highly challenging Monaco circuit - and the Austrian is in confident mood.

“Despite my accident during Friday's session, we had a good test overall at Paul Ricard, with my work focusing on tyre selection with Michelin,” he said. “Mechanical grip is key in Monaco, as a result of the low speeds and the track layout. Also, grip levels are quite low, but they do tend to increase as more miles are put in on the track and more rubber has been laid. Therefore our work with Michelin on Thursday will be as important as always."

As is tradition at Monaco, the first two practice sessions of the meeting take place on Thursday, with no running on the Friday.