Pizzonia will Impress F1, Says Former Boss

Jaguar's new Formula One signing Antonio Pizzonia is a potential World Champion, according to John Booth - the man who guided the Brazilian and Finn Kimi Raikkonen to titles early in their careers.

Pizzonia will Impress F1, Says Former Boss

Jaguar's new Formula One signing Antonio Pizzonia is a potential World Champion, according to John Booth - the man who guided the Brazilian and Finn Kimi Raikkonen to titles early in their careers.

Booth saw both drivers secure the British Formula Renault crown for his Manor Motorsport outfit during his time as team boss, and he now says: "Antonio is the fastest natural driver I've ever seen. He just has an incredible desire to drive every lap and every corner on the limit. He couldn't drive conservatively to save his life.

"I can remember the first time he tested our F3 car - he just blew us all away. I knew then he was good enough to be in F1 one day."

Although he has not won a race in the last Formula 3000 season, Pizzonia is highly-rated by Williams-BMW boss Patrick Head, after spending endless hours test-driving for the team. Head has openly praised 22-year-old Pizzonia - nicknamed 'Jungle Boy' because of his Amazonian background - for his technical skills and feedback.

Booth said: "I just don't think he enjoyed F3000. I think Antonio probably thought he should have been in F1 by right a few years ago and was much more interested in doing the business at Williams."

He added: "People talk about (Juan Pablo) Montoya and Kimi being the ones to take over from (Michael) Schumacher. Forget Montoya, we've seen there's only one at the moment and that's Kimi. He's outshone Coulthard in his first season at McLaren and the only reason he didn't finish in front of him the Championship is because the car conked out so much.

"Give Antonio a few years and he could be in one of the top teams fighting for wins. I think he'll quickly make an impression, but both [he and Kimi] know how to win races and Championships and it's a joy to see them where they are now."

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