Atlas F1 News Service
Panis Begins Testing with McLaren

Thursday December 2nd, 1999

Olivier Panis begins his McLaren testing duties today (Thursday) at the Jerez circuit, only days after the team confirmed the Frenchman will be its third driver for the 2000 season.

"Joining McLaren Mercedes is an exciting challenge for me and I am looking forward to helping develop the team's new Formula One car for the 2000 season," Panis said earlier this week. Martin Whitmarsh, the Managing Director of McLaren International, explained that, "We have decided we require a third driver in the Formula One programme to meet the demands of our intensive test schedule. Olivier has already impressed us in the car and with his desire to take over this role, and we are confident that his contribution will be significant."

Panis, who announced his retirement from Formula One at the end of the 1999 season after being left without a seat for next season, is expected to race next year with Mercedes in the German Touring Cars series. His name was also mentioned as a possible replacement for Alex Zanardi at Williams.

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