Williams lauds Webber’s replacement

Thu, 15 March 2007, 07:37

Williams’ technical director Sam Michael has refused to admit that the Oxfordshire based team is missing departed driver Mark Webber.

Webber, who switched to Red Bull for 2007 after two disappointing seasons with the team, has been replaced by Alex Wurz.

“In terms of real tangible benefit to the team, Alex is the best guy I’ve ever worked with,” Michael, who like Webber is Australian, told reporters at Albert Park.

Michael revealed that “no fewer than two or three” elements of the Toyota-powered FW29 – which has been one of the stars of the winter pre-season – are the fruits of Wurz’s own ideas.

Austrian Wurz, 33, raced three full seasons for Benetton until 2000 until he became arguably F1’s most respected test driver for the McLaren team.

He said on Thursday: “Generally I think we’re in good shape, better than we have been last year at the same time.”

But Wurz also expressed frustration at the endless pre-season chatter prior to the first official track action.

“Tomorrow the bullshit stops and the chequered flag drops,” he grinned.

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