Q & A with Justin Wilson

Cast off by Formula 1 at the end of the 2003 season despite having done what was generally perceived as a good job for Minardi and Jaguar, Justin Wilson has successfully relaunched his career in the US-based Champ Car series over the last year and a half

Q & A with Justin Wilson

Signing with the emerging RuSPORT squad for 2005 has allowed the modest, likeable Englishman to show his true worth, culminating in his and the team's first victory last weekend in the Molson Indy Toronto.

Alex Sabine caught up with Wilson in Edmonton on Friday to ask him about the Toronto win, his relationship with the team and his goals for the rest of the season.

Q: Congratulations on your Toronto win. What's the reaction been like at home in England?

JW: I've had a lot of support, emails and text messages congratulating me. It's been great. It's nice to have finally won a race again for the first time since 2002.

Q: Tell me a bit about how your relationship with the team has developed this year.

JW: It's just been great. I really enjoy working with my engineer Todd (Malloy); we gelled straight away. I have enough confidence and faith in him that I can leave him to do certain things, and he seems to have built up an understanding of what I like and what gives me confidence in the car.

And the whole atmosphere in the team is fantastic. Obviously working with AJ (Allmendinger) is pretty good fun - we're always pushing each other and we tend to end up very close.

Q: You came very close to winning at Portland last month. Was that the turning point when you thought, 'Right, it's just a matter of time before we win one of these'?

JW: Yeah. It was frustrating to have lost that one, but it gave me the confidence that when we get this right, we're quicker than everybody. We were quite a bit quicker on that day, but we've been consistently up there at the other races this year too - both myself and AJ - so I think we're going in the right direction.

Q: How would you characterise your relationship with AJ, on and off the track?

JW: We're both very competitive. Neither of us likes to lose, whatever it is we're competing at - computer games, mini-golf, getting in the front seat of the car, you name it. I would like to point out that I won the last game of mini-golf! He gave me grief about the previous game... He's my annoying little brother.

Seriously, though, we get on really well - better than any other teammate I've had. I can't remember another teammate where we hang around away from the track and still have enough respect for each other on track that we race each other hard without crashing into each other.

Q: Do you feel like you have the upper hand in that relationship just at the moment?

JW: Yeah... I've got more experience than AJ and I think that's shown early in the season, but he's going to be tough to beat throughout the rest of the year.

Q: Are you targeting the title now?

JW: You never know what will happen and it's early days, but we're close enough (to points leader Sebastien Bourdais) that it's a possibility. We seem to be quick - in Toronto we were still a little bit off Newman/Haas and Forsythe, but the race came to us. Once (Bourdais and Paul Tracy) clashed I was able to challenge the other Newman/Haas car and get into the lead.

So that one came back to us, a bit like Portland was one that got away. That's how these races go - being the quickest doesn't guarantee that you win; everything has to come together.

Morale Boost for Allmendinger

Previous article

Morale Boost for Allmendinger

Next article

Heavy Rain Delays Practice

Heavy Rain Delays Practice
Load comments

About this article

Series General
Author Alex Sabine
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

Feb 17, 2021
How Radical's latest machines fare on track Plus

How Radical's latest machines fare on track

The lightweight sportscar manufacturer has not rewritten the rulebook with its latest machines, but the new SR3 XX and SR10 still provide a step forward on its previous successful models

Feb 8, 2021
The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction Plus

The real-life racing rogues stranger than fiction

The forthcoming Netflix film linking the world of underworld crime and motorsport plays on a theme that isn't exactly new. Over the years, several shady figures have attempted to make it in racing before their dubious dealings caught up with them

Jan 31, 2021
How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory Plus

How a GP is thriving in a COVID-free territory

The New Zealand Grand Prix's mix of rising talent and big-name stars thrilled the crowds (yes, remember crowds?) assembled for the Toyota Racing Series meeting at Hampton Downs last weekend and left distant observers craving a repeat

Jan 26, 2021
How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going Plus

How a much-changed Macau GP kept the party going

OPINION: The 67th edition of the Macau Grand Prix might have been a largely muted affair to the outside world without its international influx and star line-ups, another victim to the COVID-19 pandemic, but organisers deserve huge credit for keeping the party going

Nov 24, 2020
Engineer's view: Motorsport's revolutionary braking tool Plus

Engineer's view: Motorsport's revolutionary braking tool

Although brake pressure and temperature logging is commonplace, measuring and understanding braking performance hasn't been so straightforward. But that's about to change following the introduction of a groundbreaking new sensor

Oct 1, 2020
The high-tech materials helping Renault in its F1 rise Plus

The high-tech materials helping Renault in its F1 rise

The Renault F1 team is at the vanguard of innovative solutions pushing development of the V6 turbo hybrid engine rules, embracing the full potential of material science in its bid to get back to the top

Sep 29, 2020