Justin Wilson Q&A

Justin Wilson was confirmed as a Minardi driver for 2003 at a launch at Heathrow Airport today (Tuesday). The 24-year-old Briton has long been linked with the team. Simon Strang caught with him shortly after the announcment

Justin Wilson Q&A


It's something that we have been working on for a while and when I didn't get the opportunity to stand in for Alex Yoong for those two races last year I was disappointed. But we have been very determined to make it happen ever since. Paul Stoddart has been very supportive all the way through. It's great that it has now finally come off.


They have been able to modify the car which allows me to fit in properly and that's always been the key area. It is a case of getting the budget together and happily we have got that under-written. We have got a lot of the budget in place already and there are still one or two opportunities for investors to get involved. It is quite comforting to know that we have sorted it all out before Christmas.


That's something we have to look at as the year goes on. I just want to do the best job possible to give myself the same opportunities. They did good jobs and were able to progress and now it's down to me to do the same.


There have always been people who said that and I've proved that wrong. Now I want to prove that I deserve to be in F1 as much as everyone else. I think I did enough of that in F3000, but this is another level.


I don't know. I guess there is the outside possibility of that happening. It just depends what gains the other teams make. We've made a big gain but if they have too then it's not going to happen. But if we've made big enough strides then I think there is every opportunity for us to compete with them.


I don't mind. An experienced team-mate would be good but a younger team-mate would also be good. There are pros and cons both ways. I've always got on with most of the team-mates that I have been with so I'm just looking forward to seeing who it is.


It should do yes because some of the other teams are only going to get an hour before they go into pre-qualifying which dictates the qualifying order. That should help us quite a bit. It's just extra time in the car at a circuit you are going to race on. It's one thing pounding round a test track, you get familiar with that, but as soon as you go somewhere new you need to be on the pace. I think it is quite a good move by Paul to opt for that.


We can't get too carried away. I've got to keep my feet on the ground and stay realistic. In a dream world it would be nice to pick up a podium. We've got more power, a better, lighter engine and a better car but everyone else is going to make improvements so if we expect to be at the back and challenge now and again to move forwards then anything else that happens would be fantastic.


My criteria was what was the best move for me. To go to CART, which is on the way up and will be very good next year, or go with F1. I figured that going with Minardi was still the better option because it is what I have dreamed about. I don't want to be one of those guys, sat down the pub, saying: 'I could have been an F1 driver'. I don't want the excuses and that's the same philosophy I've always stood by throughout my career.


I still have a lot of work to do on every area but I think if everything works out it will be okay. It is difficult to know. If the car gets delayed and it has problems during testing then we are not going to get any running before Melbourne, but it's happened before with other cars and other drivers. It's not like we are going out there to win the world championship next year. We are trying to progress and move up the grid.

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Wilson's Tall Story Ends with Minardi Drive

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