British Driver Jenson Button took over from Alex
Zanardi in 2000 after zanardi failed miserably in 1999. Jenson will
partner number one driver Ralf Schumacher in this year's grands prix.
While Jenson Button celebrated becoming Formula One's youngest driver,
Brazilian Bruno Junqueira made the bitter discovery that a day is a very
long time indeed in motor sport. Team owner Frank Williams, who announced
the signing of the 20-year-old Briton at a team launch at the Barcelona
circuit, revealed that Junqueira might have got the drive had the decision
been taken on Sunday. The BMW-Williams engineers, who work closely
with the drivers in setting-up the cars, favoured the Brazilian after a
week of testing interrupted by technical problems.
announcement than at any stage in his life
and had wiped away a few tears when Williams told him his decision. "I
was tingling all over my body and I went out and saw my father and said
Dad, 'I'm a Formula One driver.' "He started crying and I got upset,''
he said. HARD WORK BEGINS NOW The hard work starts now and Button, who
has never made pitstops or completed a race distance in a Formula One car
let alone experienced the rigours of the Monte Carlo street circuit, has
plenty to get his teeth into. The season starts in Australia on March 12.
"I've got a month and a half and I'm sure that's long enough,'' he said.
"I've been trying the pitstops every time I come into the pits, trying
as fast as I can to work with the speed limit. "I'm learning and I'm sure
over the next few days we'll be pushing very hard to learn it even faster.''
At ease with the media, he welcomed the attention given to Britain's youngest
ever F1 driver. "love it at the moment. It's what I want to do. "When the
first race comes it's going to be a great experience for me. Not just Michael
(Schumacher) but the whole F1 grid and everything that goes with it. "I
really can't wait to get there.'
Button's youth had worked in his favour. Button
got the Formula One drive while Junqueira was taken on as an official tester.
TRULY EXCEPTIONAL "We felt that in the long term, given that what he (Button)
had done already in the car was truly exceptional, that it was probable
that he would continue to get much better,'' said Williams. Button
said he had been more nervous before the