Jaguar test driver Bjorn Wirdheim talks about his new role with the team Q: You completed your first official test as a Jaguar Racing driver at Silverstone. How did the test go? Bjorn Wirdheim: Well I think it was a pretty good test and it was...
Jaguar test driver Bjorn Wirdheim talks about his new role with the team
Q: You completed your first official test as a Jaguar Racing driver at Silverstone. How did the test go?
Bjorn Wirdheim: Well I think it was a pretty good test and it was an important test for me as I was supposed to do one day at Valencia but unfortunately it was raining too much and was unable to drive the car. So it was very important to do the Silverstone test to get more mileage. We ran into a few mechanical problems and had to stop early but I got enough laps to feel more comfortable in the car.
Q: Having tested for both Jordan and BAR, how did the Jaguar R5 feel?
BW: I am really positive. It feels good and I think when it comes to reliability it is very good and it seems to be pretty quick but we won't really know anything until Melbourne.
Q: What were your initial reactions to landing the third driver job for Jaguar Racing?
BW: I was really pleased. It is a fantastic opportunity for me to get into Formula One in such a way. It is good because I am going to be testing at every grand prix circuit so it's a really valuable experience for my future career in the sport.
Q: Was it a difficult decision at all?
BW: Not really, no. It was just what I was looking for and I was really pleased that it happened with Jaguar Racing of all teams.
Q: You're the reigning F3000 champion -- will it be difficult not to be racing this year and was it a hard decision not to defend your F3000 title?
BW: I am sure I will miss it a lot but as I said earlier, my plan is to do well this year and hopefully move up to a race drive in the future.
Q: Your ambition is to race in Formula One -- how long are you prepared to wait for this?
BW: It is difficult to say and I haven't really thought about it so I just have to wait and see how it goes.
Q: Your feedback on grand prix weekends will be vital in giving valuable feedback to the team and Mark Webber and Christian Klien. How much of an advantage will it be for Jaguar Racing to run on the Fridays?
BW: I think it will be a very big advantage. If you look at Renault last year, for example, they were the only top team that decided on the Friday practice and they gained a lot out of it.
Q: You'll have to learn quite a few new circuits, as will Christian. Which circuits are you looking forward to driving on?
BW: I am looking forward to Melbourne but I have driven on all of the European circuits and Indianapolis and Brazil as well. So there's only really Canada, Malaysia, Montreal, Melbourne and Shanghai but I'm really looking forward to testing myself on those circuits.
Q: What do you make of your team-mates and will you be expecting to learn anything from them?
BW: I have met them a few times now and get along with them well. I'm really looking forward to be working with them this year. I'm sure I'll be able to learn a lot from watching Mark Webber as he's one of the best drivers in Formula One for sure.
Q: What attributes do you think makes a good test driver?
BW: First of all you need to be able to handle the car and, of course, your feedback is very important. It's also important in my case to learn the circuits very quickly. We have two hours of free practice and half an hour should be enough time for me to learn the circuit. It would have been easier for me to go to Melbourne with a few more miles under my belt but I'm sure I'll be fine.
Q: The Australian GP is less than two weeks away now. How excited are you?
BW: I am very excited. I have been working really hard to get into Formula One for a very long time now and I will really enjoy it when I get to Melbourne.
Q: Fans of the Jaguar Racing website may be interested to know that one of your hobbies is web design. How did you get into this and did you design your own website?
BW: Well I was just playing around with my computer when I first discovered the internet and it all went from there really. I have always built and maintained my own website (www.wirdheim.com) and the new one is not yet finished, but the most important things are there. It is something I enjoy doing when I don't have any other commitments.