Wilson on Newman/Haas '08 shortlist

Craig Hampson, Sebastien Bourdais' race engineer, has expressed his hopes Justin Wilson is one of Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing's contenders to replace the four-time champion who joins Scuderia Toro Rosso in Formula One next year

Wilson on Newman/Haas '08 shortlist

"It's not for me to speak for Mr Haas, but what I will say is that I'm sure Justin is going to be on his list of potential candidates. Everyone in this team regards Justin as an excellent driver, and someone who we've regarded as a primary competition over the last two or three years.

"Remember, Justin was on our original shortlist to test when we picked Sebastien, but he went for the Minardi Formula One deal. What I'm saying is, we considered him then, and he's now got four years' experience in a Champ Car to add to that. He's a great driver."

"Also, bear in mind we now have Todd Malloy working for us, and he was Justin's race engineer for two years at RuSPORT. He knows how good he is, and knows he's a good guy with a strong work ethic."

The RuSPORT team is on the verge of closing down, as owner Dan Pettit has informed team members that 15 November is their final day at the office. This theoretically renders obsolete Wilson's three-year contract with the squad.

Wilson himself stated: "I'm thankful to Dan for giving the team an extra 12 months of existence to RuSPORT, allowing us to compete this year. Obviously it's disappointing to learn the team's shutting down, but I'm sure the boys here will get another job: they're too good not to.

"It's an... interesting time for me right now, to be honest. Newman/Haas/Lanigan is where any driver would want to be, so of course I'm looking at that. And Champ Car is where I want to be because the racing's good and I have unfinished business here.

"But I've had enquiries from different championships, yes. I can't comment on the Andretti Green Racing rumours because I don't know what's happening there, and I don't want to go and do the ALMS even though I've been linked there.

"It's good to hear that someone like Craig Hampson thinks well of me, sure. We all know he's a great engineer. So of course I hope I'm on Carl Haas's list, yeah. Maybe things will start happening and phone calls will get made when we get back to America."

Hampson added: "The thing is, I think there will be many good drivers on Mr Haas's list, and we've got to look at all of them. Carl is great at choosing drivers as history has shown. So I can state whoever we get to replace Sebastien, we'll have 100 per cent faith in them."

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