BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
    You are in: Motorsport: Formula One  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Statistics
Formula One
World Rally
Motorbikes
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

   Tuesday, 17 December, 2002, 14:58 GMT
Wilson vows to succeed
Justin Wilson
Wilson won F3000 in 2001
Justin Wilson will be Britain's third driver on the Formula One grid for next year after it was revealed on Tuesday that he has landed a Minardi drive for 2003.

The 24-year-old from Sheffield - who in 2001 became the first Briton to win the Formula 3000 title - was unveiled at a press conference near Heathrow Airport.

He has come up with the 2m sponsorship money he needed to drive for Minardi.

The other seat is between experienced Dutchman Jos Verstappen and countryman Christijan Albers, who is an F1 novice.

Last month Minardi boss Paul Stoddart said that, while he admired Wilson's talent, he could not give him a drive unless he came up with the cash.

Wilson missed out on a drive for Minardi last year because - at 6ft 3in - he was too big for the car's cockpit.

I've proved I'm good enough to get into F1 - now I've got to prove I can stay there

Justin Wilson

But he had a fitting last month and was able to get into the monocoque of the 2003 car.

"I am really looking forward to the new season," he said.

"It's been a tough couple of years trying to get there since I won the F3000 title.

"My height has been an issue all the way through my career but people have stuck by me and I don't think I'll have any problems next year.

"But I have proved that I am good enough to get into F1 - now I have got to prove that I can stay there.

"This is the opportunity I have been looking for and dreaming about since I was eight and now I have got to make sure that I take it. I want to prove people wrong."

Justin Wilson became Britain's first-ever winner of F3000
Wilson dominated F3000 before being signed up in F1

He will join David Coulthard and Jenson Button as British representatives booked for F1 teams in 2003 - with Northern Ireland's Eddie Irvine yet to be signed up.

Wilson, who had also been linked to Jordan, has been competing in a junior formula in Brazil this year where he finished in second place.

He was scheduled for a Cart test with the Newman-Haas team before Christmas - but that is likely to be shelved now he has his F1 ticket.

Wilson will make his debut in the season opening race in Australia on 9 March.

Stoddart said about the other seat: "We've signed a conditional contract with Christijan and its subject only to commercial finalisation. If that happens then Albers will be our second driver.

"We are still talking to Jos so we are openly talking to both the Dutch drivers. Christijan is a Formula Three champion and Jos needs no introduction, he's a great driver.

"I wish we had three seats because I'd like to take both off them but it probably will be one of them."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 BBC Five Live's Jonathan Legard
"Wilson was rejected by Jordan in 2001"
 Former Minardi driver Mark Webber
"It's a huge step in anyone's career"
See also:

17 Dec 02 | Formula One
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Formula One stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Formula One stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales