As announced on Sunday morning, Williams driver Alex Wurz has decided to retire from Formula One racing, and initial thoughts presumed he would finally hang up is lucky boots after racing in Brazil for the season finale. However, today Wurz confirmed his retirement and has brought it forward – Alex will retire with immediate effect. While not much has been said about why Alex is stepping down now, one can only presume the team were involved and wanted to try out another driver while they have the chance.
I would today like to announce my retirement from active racing in Formula One. I would like to thank my family and fans, everyone at AT&T Williams and my previous teams, as well as the media, for all of their support during my Formula One racing career.
In such a hard fought environment as Formula One, I have always maintained that if you have a moment’s doubt about what you are doing, then it is time to stop. Privately I began to have these thoughts earlier this year and so have decided that now is the time to make my announcement. Racing this season has been a real pleasure, especially securing the podium in Canada which was pretty sweet along with a number of other strong races, but now it is time to call it a day. I’d like to thank the team for accepting my decision and I wish them all the best for the last race of the year. Alex Wurz.
Alex has been generally outpaced this year by his younger and lesser-experienced team mate Nico Rosberg, and the Austrian driver has been struggling with qualifying. Although the experienced tester managed a podium at the Canadian Grand Prix, his season has been overshadowed by Rosberg’s. Despite this though, team boss Frank Williams had some kind words to say for his former driver.
Alex has made an invaluable contribution to the team for the past two years, first as one of the best test and development drivers the team has ever worked with, and more recently as a race driver. This season Alex has had some very strong drives in difficult circumstances and we would like to thank him for all he has contributed. Alex is well known, immensely popular and widely regarded as one of Formula One’s gentlemen. I am sure I speak for everyone in the paddock when I wish Alex and his family the very best for the future. Frank Williams.
Williams have Kazuki Nakajima on their books, and the Japanese driver has competed in GP2 this year as well as performing some man-Friday tasks as and when he was available. The Grove team are yet to announce who will race in Brazil, but Nakajima must be crossing his fingers right now. Another driver who has been linked to the 2008 seat is current Renault tester Nelson Piquet Jr. Like Nico, Nico is also a son of a former World Champion and it is possible that Renault might let him race for a year with another before recruiting him back to race with more experience with Renault.
Williams are expected to make an announcement tomorrow.