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  Monday, 19 August, 2002, 06:09 GMT 07:09 UK
Size matters in F1
Anthony Davidson
Anthony Davidson made his F1 debut in Hungary

It is not in Justin Wilson's nature to wish ill of a rival - he is far too nice for that.

But hearing, seeing or watching anything of Anthony Davidson's Formula One debut in Hungary must have been torture for Wilson.

Never mind that Davidson spent all the 60 laps he completed at the back of the field.

Nor that he was constantly being lapped from one third distance.

The 2001 F3000 champion probably spent the race shouting at the television, "That should have been me!" each time the camera chose to follow his fellow Briton's Minardi.

But it was not him, and Wilson must be wondering whether he ever will realise his dream to fill a place on the F1 grid.

Justin Wilson
Justin Wilson could get a Minardi drive
A mild temperament has won him many friends.

His driving talent has won him races.

But size is everything in Formula One in two key areas - body and budget - and Wilson unfortunately is long in the first and short on the second.

Double trouble.

Wilson stands at six feet three inches and could probably lose Davidson's five feet frame down one of his trousers legs.

So guess which one fits comfortably into a current F1 car, and which one finds it a tall order?

And while midgets like Massa, Heidfeld, Sato and Alonso proliferate, the odds of Wilson breaking through only lengthen.

Jordan tried Wilson last year with a seat in 2002 but said no - with reluctance - despite being impressed by his testing times up against Jean Alesi.

And even though he drove at Minardi's Thunder in the Park 2 event at Donington Park last weekend, and was the favourite to replace Alex Yoong, his excess inches counted against him once more.

The FIA regulations on chassis dimensions were designed for drivers measuring up to 1.90 metres - precisely Wilson's height.

Justin Wilson
Wilson took the F3000 title last year
So unless a team is willing to build a car around Wilson's outsize measurements, he may never get his chance.

If the 24-year-old had a crowd of sponsors leaping out of his overalls, he would no doubt find teams falling over themselves to oblige, but he does not.

Furthermore, Davidson has had an F1 test drive at BAR for the last two seasons, and won the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year Award in 2000.

And in Hungary, aside from pushing too hard with 17 laps remaining and ending up off the road and a minor excursion during Friday practice, he did nothing wrong.

He has another opportunity to impress in Belgium in two weeks.

That was also the venue 12 months ago where Wilson clinched the F3000 title, which should have been his ticket to ride among motor-racing's most exalted company.

Instead he is driving in the Dallara Nissan World Series, and Formula One looks as far away as ever.

But amid the gloom, there are rays of hope.

Formula One currently accommodates two six footers - Alexander Wurz at McLaren and Davidson's new team-mate at Minardi, Mark Webber.

Minardi boss, Paul Stoddart, has said that Wilson remains a serious contender for a drive in 2003 as he works on two potentially major sponsorship deals which could pay the Briton's way.

He has to hope that while Davidson has got the nod at this stage, Britain will soon have another young gun turning heads where it matters.

In-depth guide to the 2002 Formula One season

On-track action

Race statistics

Budapest build-up

Jonathan Legard

F1 2002
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