Major sponsorship deal for Wilson

British F3000 star Justin Wilson has landed major sponsorship from the Benetton Formula 1 team

Major sponsorship deal for Wilson

His Astromega outfit will run in the Formula 1 team's colours for the rest of the year.

Ex-Grand Prix driver Jonathan Palmer, who gave Wilson an F3000 drive for winning last year's inaugural Formula Palmer Audi title, set up the deal.

Wilson said, 'It's brilliant to have a link with a Grand Prix team at this stage in my career. I can't thank Jonathan enough - he found a place for me with one of the top F3000 teams and now he has given me another big boost.

'I'll do my best to repay his faith - and Benetton's.'

Palmer hopes to extend the relationship in the future. He said, 'Who knows where it will lead? I am delighted Benetton recognises the strength of FPA and this gives it a direct link with F1 via F3000.'

It is unclear whether the deal will give Wilson the chance to test for Benetton's F1 squad. Team boss Rocco Benetton said, 'We are keen to identify drivers with F1 potential.'

Benetton is the sixth F1 team to forge an association in F3000, joining McLaren, Williams, Prost, Arrows and Sauber.

Wilson's team mate Gonzalo Rodriguez will also run in Benetton colours, but only for the sake of uniformity.

The Uruguayan won the Monaco event but is thought to be heading for a career in the US, having attracted interest from the Penske and Newman-Haas CART teams.

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