Jaguar in no hurry for second driver

The unconfirmed seat at Jaguar is perhaps the most sought-after in Formula One currently but the team is in no hurry to find someone to fill it. Testing resumes at the end of this month after the break since Suzuka and although Jaguar would like...

The unconfirmed seat at Jaguar is perhaps the most sought-after in Formula One currently but the team is in no hurry to find someone to fill it. Testing resumes at the end of this month after the break since Suzuka and although Jaguar would like two drivers to be ready to test, its not rushing into any hasty decisions.

"We are under no immediate pressure or rush to make a decision," said a team spokesman, according to Reuters. "We still have about four weeks left before our winter test program kicks off."

"We would prefer to have our 2004 drivers in the cars over the winter period and there is an understandable desire on the part of various parties to have this decision taken sooner rather than later. But it's purely a buyer's market right now. We have time which we are going to make maximum use of."

Mark Webber is confirmed next season but who will partner him is the subject of much speculation. Justin Wilson, who replaced Antonio Pizzonia for the final five races of 2003, is in the running, as is McLaren test driver Alex Wurz, ex-Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld and Dutchman Jos Verstappen.

"The second seat is a valuable asset we have and I want to make sure whoever fills it will be best for the team," said Jaguar's David Pitchforth. "He has to be a good driver first, fit with the team, fit with Mark and the engineers, understand the way we work and then other factors come into play too. We are not in a screaming rush but we are working very hard on it."

Wurz was Jaguar's favourite to replace Pizzonia earlier this year but McLaren wanted too high a price to release him from his contract. Now, however, the Austrian believes he is Jaguar's first choice. "I am in a good position because two teams are interested in me," said Wurz, according to APA. "Jaguar has me at the top of their list and McLaren wants to keep me as their test driver."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Antonio Pizzonia , Mark Webber , Nick Heidfeld , Justin Wilson
Teams Sauber , McLaren