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.

shares
comments
Morale Boost for Allmendinger
Previous article

Morale Boost for Allmendinger

Next article

Analysis: Allmendinger Holds On

Analysis: Allmendinger Holds On
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
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

General
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...

General
Feb 17, 2021