Justin Wilson successfully managed to fit his six foot three frame into a Minardi at the team's Faenza base this weekend, now only the commercial aspects of the deal stand in his way. Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is keen to have the British driver...
Justin Wilson successfully managed to fit his six foot three frame into a Minardi at the team's Faenza base this weekend, now only the commercial aspects of the deal stand in his way. Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is keen to have the British driver on board but wanted to make sure his height could be comfortably accommodated. Now that hurdle is dealt with, it remains to be seen if Wilson can supply adequate sponsorship for the cash-strapped team.
"He fits in the car," Stoddart told Reuters. "It's only a mockup but we know exactly what we have to do to get him in. So that side of it is fine and we've just got to do the commercial negotiations this week to see if we can go forward. He's still going to look like he's shoe-horned in, no matter what you do, but he fits. There were three key areas where he didn't fit into the 2002 car and they are now overcome for 2003."
Minardi will have to build a chassis especially for Wilson should the team take him on. Stoddart said Minardi had something of a tradition for drivers who have gone on to bigger and better things -- 2001 driver Fernando Alonso went on to Renault and Mark Webber recently moved to Jaguar -- and while he hopes Wilson will also be a future star, finances are equally important.
"Justin is a driver of undoubted talent but Minardi is a team that needs budget," Stoddart commented. "So if a team that has launched the careers of many a driver is going to give someone a chance in today's sad commercial world, it has to come with some sponsorship."
The Australian team boss thinks it unlikely a driver line up will be finalized before Christmas: "It would be nice to know who our two drivers are before Christmas but I'm not sure that we will, to be honest. I think we will definitely know one but we may not know the other until January," he said.