Webber: Pizzonia's Poor Form a Burden on Jaguar

The poor form of Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia in Formula One this season has been frustrating and a burden on Jaguar, according to teammate Mark Webber.

Webber: Pizzonia's Poor Form a Burden on Jaguar

The poor form of Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia in Formula One this season has been frustrating and a burden on Jaguar, according to teammate Mark Webber.

Australia's Webber claimed the Ford-owned team's first points of the season at Barcelona earlier this month and last week extended his contract until the end of the 2005 season.

However, 22-year-old rookie Pizzonia has underperformed relative to Webber and Jaguar approached McLaren's Austrian test driver Alexander Wurz before reassuring Pizzonia his place was safe for 2003.

"They're really very fragile cars to get right so he is still learning that and he won't be too far away from where he can get the most out of himself and the car," Webber told reporters today.

Speaking from England ahead of this week's Austrian Grand Prix, Webber said the Jaguar garage had not been an entirely pleasant place but things were improving.

"It's been a little bit of a burden on the team if you like," said Webber, who crossed to Jaguar after a rookie year with Minardi in 2002. "You don't like to have atmosphere within your own camp and we had a bit of an atmosphere there which was not a healthy thing.

"But now we're out the other side of that and I feel there will be no other scenarios throughout the year which will cause any problems off the track. It gets a bit frustrating. It would be the same for me if Antonio was third or fourth on the grid and I was 12th or 13th. I'd be looking at myself as well."

Webber scored points on his Grand Prix debut last year with a memorable fifth place in Melbourne. This season he took Jaguar's R4 car to third and fifth on the grid in Brazil and San Marino before scoring the team's first points of the year with seventh in Spain. The 26-year-old said Jaguar had tried to sign him until the end of the 2007 season.

"There are options to go further than 2005 but that's where we have settled at the moment," Webber said. "I saw no reason to put in the hard work now and not be there in 2005 when I think we will be at our strongest."

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