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Second race outing for Pizzonia at Spa 06 Sep 2005

Antonio Pizzonia (BRA) Williams BMW FW27 
Formula One World Championship, Rd15, Italian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Monza, Italy, 3 September 2005

Williams confirmed on Tuesday that reserve driver Antonio Pizzonia will again race for the team in place of Nick Heidfeld at this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.

Heidfeld pulled out of the last round at Monza complaining of headaches and now the team have decided, given the intense schedule of back-to-back races, to allow the German more time to fully recuperate.

Nominating Pizzonia ahead of the race also has the advantage of giving the Brazilian a better qualifying slot thanks to his impressive seventh-place finish in Italy. Were the team to wait until Friday at Spa to decide, he would have the handicap of being first man out in the session.

“Our first priority is prudence in relation to Nick’s condition,” said team boss Frank Williams. “Although the broad view is that he may well be ready to race by Friday, the back-to-back calendar at this time does not allow the luxury of more time to reach this conclusion, so it is best both for Nick, and indeed the team if we make a clear and early decision that Antonio will race this weekend.”

That decision means Pizzonia will get to celebrate his 25th birthday on Sunday by making his sixth Grand Prix appearance for the Williams team.