Mark Webber's as yet unsigned team-mate at Williams-BMW will need to fulfil strict criteria… Anthony Davidson, Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia seem to be the leading candidates for the job.

Mark Webber's as yet unsigned team-mate at Williams-BMW will need to fulfil strict criteria… Anthony Davidson, Nick Heidfeld and Antonio Pizzonia seem to be the leading candidates for the job.


Team boss Frank Williams has decided to give current BAR test driver Anthony Davidson and Jordan Grand Prix's Nick Heidfeld a chance to compete for a place on the F1 grid next year, when the team runs two three-day tests at Jerez in early December.


Davidson and Heidfeld will both undergo three-day evaluations, but regular Williams test driver Antonio Pizzonia, who deputised for the injured Ralf Schumacher in three grands prix this year, is also under consideration.


CARtoday.com reported last month that Williams found itself without a second driver after losing a claim to Jenson Button's services following a decision by the Contracts Recognition Board, which ruled that the British driver must stay at BAR in 2005.


But Sir Frank is clear on what characteristics his second driver should have: "Ideally, we need someone with experience but also someone who is quick. We need someone intelligent, hard working and, above all, skilful".


"As a team, we traditionally prosper with drivers who have a down-to-earth, 'let's get on with it' attitude. Mark (Webber) is certainly in that mould, and I am delighted he has agreed to join the team for 2005," he added.


Meanwhile, former F1 world champion and former Jaguar Racing team boss Niki Lauda said David Coulthard (who offered to drive for Williams-BMW practically “for free”) would be the obvious driver to lead the new Red Bull Racing team in 2005.


Dietrich Mateschitz's energy drinks company bought Jaguar Racing earlier this week, but has yet to announce its drivers for the 2005 season. Jaguar's second driver this year, Christian Klien, is thought to be high on the list, while former team boss Tony Purnell also admitted that outgoing McLaren-Mercedes driver Coulthard would be considered.


Lauda said on Tuesday that the Scot's experience made him the prime candidate. "They must sign up the right people so the car is successful quickly," he said. "Coulthard's free and would be a good solution because of his experience.


"It is not crucial whether a driver like Christian Klien sits in the cockpit. Mateschitz should give tests to youngsters but pick the fastest," he added.