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USF1 sporting director Peter Windsor has admitted that the Charlotte-based team has considered both Alexander Wurz and Jacques Villeneuve as possible candidates for race drives in the team's first season next year. Windsor has admitted, however, that the Austrian is a more likely candidate than the 1997 World Champion.
With eight months still remaining ahead of next season, Windsor stressed that time remains on the teams' sides as far as the hiring of personnel is concerned but did admit his interest in the two men in question. "Well, I have spoken to both of them, not necessarily about driving!" he told the BBC in Hungary on Thursday. "To see Jacques at Monaco - and I think he's here today as well - looking very fit and wanting to get back in a race car - very different sorts of drivers - and we've spoken to Alex too because I think any young team coming into Formula One needs to look at drivers with experience."
Are there any characteristics which the squad is particularly searching for? "We've said many times that we're looking at Americans but our first year in Formula One will be critical in many ways, not the least of which is that we are in a very compressed time zone right now to do everything because of all the turbulence and politics," continued Windsor, a familiar voice in F1 press conferences before the role was taken by James Allen from Silverstone onward. "So there is an argument for one car about running an experienced driver; Alex and Jacques, very different - Jacques a former World Champion, he comes in with his persona. It could be that, for a team that needs to grow at its own organic rate, Jacques will come in with his own rate of expectation and they may not match so one would have to think about that.
"Alex Wurz; a different sort of guy, he hasn't achieved yet what he perhaps set out to achieve, he perhaps could be more able to operate at our rate of learning - I think that's a very important point because the rate at which you learn and grow really affects the way that the team is going to perform over the next decade and if you look, actually, at B.A.R-Supertec - as it was when it first started in the days of Jacques Villeneuve - you could argue that that team was running before it could walk and I think that's one of the reasons perhaps they didn't go on to achieve the success they should have achieved, given the budget and facilities they had.
"We're very conscious of that - we're want to walk, we want to canter, we want to sprint and we want to do it in the right order." As well as considering Wurz for a managerial position within the organisation, Peter repeated the fact that there is still plenty of time remaining for decisions. "Anybody's who's got a lot of Formula One mileage, who's still hungry and is a good guy is the sort of guy we'd be looking at, possibly, for one of our two cars," he added. "The other car - we are still pretty keen to run a young American."
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