The road to Formula 1 for Justin Wilson was a long one. Ironically, the lanky lad with the longest legs in the paddock could not vault the ranks at the same speed as karting contemporaries such as Jenson Button or Anthony Davidson, but arguably the lessons learned on his rocky road made him all the better as an accomplished professional racing driver
His car-racing debut came at the age of just 16 years and two months, when he lined up for the Formula Vauxhall Junior Winter Series at Pembrey in October 1994, in preparation for a full season in '95. For a young lad from Sheffield, the environment of Team JLR was perfect, with a Yorkshire homeliness as if he were in a farm kitchen in All Creatures Great and Small.
"You usually know instantly if they've got it or not," says Richard Dean, who at the time driver-coached for JLR and now has many of the former staffers from the team working under him at GT-and-historics squad United Autosports.