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  Monday, 25 November, 2002, 19:27 GMT
Wilson fits Minardi
Justin Wilson
Wilson is exceptionally tall for a grand prix driver
Britain's Justin Wilson is on the verge of joining Formula One team Minardi after satisfying them he can squeeze safely into their 2003 car.

Wilson stands 6'3" tall and spent the weekend at Minardi's Faenza factory in Italy proving his height would be no obstacle.

Team boss Paul Stoddart said: "He fits in the car. It's only a mock-up but we know exactly what we have to do to get him in.

"So that side of it is fine and we've just got to do the commercial negotiations this week to see if we can go forward.

"He's still going to look like he's shoe-horned in, no matter what you do, but he fits.


Justin is a driver of undoubted talent
Paul Stoddart
"There were three key areas where he didn't fit into the 2002 car and they are now overcome for 2003."

Wilson was in the frame to replace Malaysian Alex Yoong for two races last season but was unable to fit into the car.

The drive eventually went to compatriot Anthony Davidson instead.

However, Stoddart promised that the Formula 3000 champion would remain in the frame for 2003 and Minardi would make sure their new car was roomy enough for him.

Minardi, ninth overall last season, have yet to name their line-up for next season after Australian Mark Webber signed for Jaguar and Yoong was not retained.

"It would be nice to know who our two drivers are before Christmas but I think we will definitely know one but we may not know the other until January," said Stoddart.

Meanwhile, Toyota will unveil their 2003 Formula 1 car at the Paul Ricard circuit in France on 8 January.

The Germany-based team are the second outfit to confirm their launch date, with Jaguar having announced theirs will be on 13 January.

See also:

16 Aug 02 | Formula One
19 Aug 02 | Formula One
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