Pizzonia shocked by Jaguar decision

Pizzonia shocked by Jaguar decision

Antonio Pizzonia has admitted he is shocked by Jaguar's decision to replace him with Justin Wilson for the rest of the 2003 season. Jaguar made the announcement on Monday that Pizzonia had not fulfilled his potential and it was in the team's best...

Antonio Pizzonia has admitted he is shocked by Jaguar's decision to replace him with Justin Wilson for the rest of the 2003 season. Jaguar made the announcement on Monday that Pizzonia had not fulfilled his potential and it was in the team's best interest to replace him. Former Minardi driver Wilson will take over from the German Grand Prix, the next race at the beginning of August.

Antonio Pizzonia.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
"The sudden decision by Jaguar Racing not to let me continue as a full-time Formula One driver for the team came as a complete shock to me," Pizzonia said in a statement. "As the season has progressed my performances have improved."

Jaguar offered Pizzonia a testing role but he has turned it down: "As has been widely reported, Jaguar has offered me a reserve driver and testing role but I have declined this," he said. "I now have to reflect on what has happened and decide which is the best course of action for me to take. However, I fully intend to pursue my career in Formula One."

The 22 year old was signed to Jaguar by then-boss Niki Lauda, having previously been Williams test driver in 2002. By the Spanish GP this year his future was already in doubt and Jaguar tried to replace him with McLaren test driver Alex Wurz. The deal fell through but Pizzonia had been on uncertain ground ever since.

What the future will bring for Pizzonia is yet to be seen but for the moment he declines to comment further. F3000 driver Nicolas Kiesa has filled Wilson's place at Minardi.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Nicolas Kiesa , Justin Wilson , Alexander Wurz , Niki Lauda
Teams McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jaguar Racing