James Courtney Q&A

When Tomas Scheckter was relieved of his position as test driver at Jaguar Racing, it was assumed that the team's F3 drivers would be drafted in as cover. Up until yesterday only Andre Lotterer had been given a chance in the F1 machine, the German receiving preferential treatment after impressing in a one-off drive at the end of the 2000 season. However, in the domestic British F3 Championship the team's Australian driver, James Courtney, has usually held the upper hand and the 21-year-old was given an opportunity to show his credentials when he tested an F1 car for the first time at Monza on Tuesday. Andy Van de Burgt caught up with him at the end of the test

James Courtney Q&A



"Yeah, it's something I've hoped for my whole life so it's a really mega thing to actually achieve. It feels really good to be able to have done something that I wanted to do for so long."



"Basically just to familiarise myself with the car we were running. We were carrying a lot of fuel, and didn't put new tyres on. The team said there's time in both those things. The idea was to get used to the car with it being my first test."



"I didn't want to go off and have a big shunt, so I was pushing hard, but not too hard to risk going off."



"Sure. I would have liked to get a run in on new tyres at the end, but we ran out of time. Maybe a bit less fuel would have been nice, but to have the experience that I had today is excellent. I can go into the next F1 test and I won't have to worry about the familiarisation - I'll be ready for it."



"No, not yet. Hopefully soon, I can't wait!"



"No, but I spoke to Juan [Pablo Montoya] briefly in the airport on the way over here and he gave me a few little points; braking into the second chicane and staying away from a bump that he told me about. It was handy, for sure; I kept away from it all day and never really had a problem there."



"Well, it's like an F3 car with a rocket in it! The acceleration and braking is incredible. I was pulling 4.5G under braking, which is crazy really. It's the best feeling."



"No, I think Andre's done seven days now, so it being my first day I didn't think I was going to match his time. It didn't really bother me; I wasn't really concentrating on anyone else's time. I just really wanted to do my own thing today and keep to myself and stay out of everyone else's way."



"No there wasn't any problem at all. I've been working hard with the F1 trainer Nick Harris, who gave me some exercises to strengthen my neck. So it wasn't really a factor."



"It was incredible. The speed that an F1 car does there, you're passing the 200m board at 354kph - it's just mind-boggling. And braking at 4.5G makes your head weigh as much as the rest of your body, and to have that resting on my neck was incredible."

To listen to this interview in full visit the section of www.jaguar-racing.com.

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