Stoddart Backs Webber-Wilson Partnership

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has backed Briton Justin Wilson and Australian Mark Webber to become the "most powerful" duo in Formula One after giving the pair their big break in the sport.

Stoddart Backs Webber-Wilson Partnership

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has backed Briton Justin Wilson and Australian Mark Webber to become the "most powerful" duo in Formula One after giving the pair their big break in the sport.

Wilson left for Jaguar on Monday to replace Antonio Pizzonia and Stoddart is confident that Jaguar will once again end up reaping the benefit of his talent-spotting skills.

Stoddart tipped Webber to make a huge impact with Jaguar after over-seeing the 26-year-old driver's move to the Milton Keynes-based team last season. With Webber already achieving five finishes in the points in 2003, Stoddart is confident in the ability of 24-year-old Wilson to match his new teammate.

"I saw the same qualities in Justin (Wilson) and Mark (Webber)," said Stoddart. "I am in the box to know how they should compare and I think Mark will have the advantage this year. Unless I am very much mistaken, I suspect the combination of Mark and Justin will continue for quite a while and could become the most powerful in Formula One.

"Having had such a star from us in Mark, Jaguar were pretty keen to follow on and we insisted that Justin would be the perfect partner for Mark. Even in Formula 3000 their two families got on really well. I would have thought there are three or four years of options with the two and I think it is going to be a marriage made in heaven."

Despite Stoddart's pride in having another of his discoveries take a step up the Formula One ladder, the Australian entrepreneur admits being disappointed to see Wilson leave after just eleven races with the back-of-the-grid outfit.

But Stoddart admits his sadness will be tempered by knowledge of a job well-done and the promise of a healthy profit from his investment in Wilson's share-scheme.

"Given a perfect world I would have liked to see him finish the year with us - but the world is never perfect, is it? I also feel for Antonio (Pizzonia)," said Stoddart. "I knew about it for a few weeks and it shows, at least, that we are doing a good job at Minardi in getting the right drivers coming through.

"Added to that, if you are trading in Justin Wilson shares - and I have got some of them so I still have an interest in his future - then you are looking at a handsome profit."

shares
comments
Stalemate over British GP future

Previous article

Stalemate over British GP future

Next article

Brundle: BRDC alone can't save British GP

Brundle: BRDC alone can't save British GP
Load comments
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates Plus

Why Italian GP success is on for McLaren even if Verstappen dominates

For the second time in 2021, McLaren will line up for the start of a grand prix from the first row. It knows it has the chance of “glory” if things go well for Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris at the start of the 2021 Italian Grand Prix, but even if they just maintain their grid positions, signs from the rest of the Monza weekend suggest success is very possible for Formula 1’s other orange army

Formula 1
Sep 12, 2021
The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus Plus

The F1 media favourite who lifted a broken Lotus

Graham Hill was nearly 30 when he made his Formula 1 debut. NIGEL ROEBUCK examines the life of a gifted racer whose talismanic personality defined an era

Formula 1
Sep 11, 2021