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08 Oct 2007

Wurz announces retirement from Formula One competition

Williams driver Alexander Wurz has confirmed that he is to retire from Formula One racing with immediate effect. The team will announce his replacement for the season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix on Tuesday.

Wurz made his Formula One debut in 1997 with Benetton in Canada, since which time he has driven for McLaren and most recently Williams, as test driver in 2006 before taking on a race seat for the 2007 season.

“I would today like to announce my retirement from active racing in Formula One,” said the 33-year-old Austrian, who has recently become a father for the third time. “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 ten seasons, Wurz has made 69 Grand Prix starts, with his most recent visit to the podium coming earlier this year in Canada. He has scored 13 points in 2007, but has struggled to match team mate Nico Rosberg, particularly in qualifying.

“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,” continued Wurz. “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.”

He concluded: “I look forward to my future and perhaps the opportunity to pass on my knowledge and skills in Formula One and I have some discussions underway. I may also race again, perhaps in Le Mans or other categories and certainly some of my time will now be committed to the very important subject of road safety.”

In response to Wurz’s announcement, team principal, Frank Williams said: “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.”

Alex Wurz (AUT) Williams.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007 Alex Wurz (AUT) Williams FW29.
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai International Circuit, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 6 October 2007 Alex Wurz (AUT) Williams celebrates his third position on the podium.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 6, Canadian Grand Prix, Race, Montreal, Canada, Sunday, 10 June 2007