Pizzonia ready for Formula One

Interview with Jaguar driver Antonio Pizzonia. Q: What are your first impressions of the new regime at Jaguar Racing? "Well, I think it's a bit too early to say, for me, to be honest -- especially as I've not yet raced in F1. But at the moment...

Interview with Jaguar driver Antonio Pizzonia.

Q: What are your first impressions of the new regime at Jaguar Racing?

"Well, I think it's a bit too early to say, for me, to be honest -- especially as I've not yet raced in F1. But at the moment everything seems to be working fine, I'd say. I've been to the factory quite a few times, and the atmosphere is very good. The team has had a difficult time over the past few years, and I want to do my bit to help them have a better time in 2003."

Q: You were a test driver at BMW-Williams last year as well as racing in F3000. How different will 2003 be, do you think?

Antonio Pizzonia.
Photo by Jaguar Racing.
"I think I'm ready for F1. I think I learned a lot at BMW-Williams -- I drove more than 15,000 kilometres in testing last year -- which is a lot. Plus, I was driving a very quick car, and I was working for a very experienced team -- and I think that helped me to learn a lot, too. But now I'm ready to race, and I really hope I'm going to be able to do a really good job for Jaguar Racing. I'll be under more pressure, of course, because a test driver is never really under a lot of pressure -- but I'm ready for it. I'm looking forward to it, in fact. The team is upbeat and based on my experience at BMW-Williams I can see the benefits that the new engineering-led philosophy is bringing."

Q: Do you enjoy testing?

"Yes, honestly, I do. Very, very much -- because you get a chance to try out so many new parts, appraise so many new ideas and so on. At first, coming from Formula 3000, I found all the extra technology on the BMW-Williams a bit confusing, but I got used to it pretty quickly and then I really enjoyed that side of things. And, anyway, driving such a quick car was a very exciting experience for a young driver. Honestly, I enjoyed every one of those 15,000 kilometres! More importantly, though, I'm now trying to bring to Jaguar Racing some of the ideas and things I tried out at BMW-Williams last year. And I hope, that way, I can be a real help to Jaguar Racing."

Q: You've never driven round Albert Park (Australia), Sepang (Malaysia), Montreal (Canada), Indianapolis (USA), or Suzuka (Japan) have you? Since Jaguar Racing wil not be part of the extra test sessions on Friday mornings, do you thinnk it's going to be more difficult than it was previously for rookies like you to learn those circuits?

"Probably, yes, that's true. But I tend to learn circuits pretty quickly, so I'm not too worried. And, anyway, I quite like the changes in the regulations. I think they were very sensible, so I can't really complain, can I?!"

Q: Are you excited about the new one-lap qualifying?

"I really like the idea, yes. I think it's going to suit my style, too. I'm looking forward to it. It's also going to make a very positive impact on the public spectacle and that's the main thing. We must do whatever we can to make this sport even more thrilling than it is. I'm all for it."

Q: How are you getting on with your team mate Mark Webber?

"He's a nice guy, he seems to be quite quick -- and we've been working really well together. Obviously, we'll be rivals as well as team-mates when the season begins, but I'm sure we're going to be sensible about it and remain co-operative with each other. This team has been through such a hard time over the past few years that the last thing they need is for us to start causing trouble. Our job is to help build up the team. That's the most important thing right now and to be perfectly honest, Mark doesn't strike me as a politician -- he wants the same as me -- to get stuck in and move Jaguar Racing up the order."

Q: And when you're sitting on the gird at Interlagos (Brazil), just minutes before your first home Grand Prix...is that going to be a very special moment for you?

"Sure, it's going to be special. But when I get into the Jaguar R4, I'm sure I'm going to be able to put all that to the back of my mind. I'll be focusing on driving the car and giving it my absolute best shot. I'll be too busy to worry about getting goose bumps about racing in front of my home fans!"

-jaguar-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Mark Webber
Teams Williams , Jaguar Racing