Webber worried for 'too nice' Wilson

Webber worried for 'too nice' Wilson

Mark Webber thinks his former F3000 rival Justin Wilson could be 'too nice' for the tough world that is Formula One and his easy going attitude could work against him. 2003 is Wilson's first year in F1; the British driver was signed up by Minardi...

Mark Webber thinks his former F3000 rival Justin Wilson could be 'too nice' for the tough world that is Formula One and his easy going attitude could work against him. 2003 is Wilson's first year in F1; the British driver was signed up by Minardi boss Paul Stoddart late last year after the team worked around the problem of Wilson's height.

Justin Wilson.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
Webber is concerned that Wilson might not be able to handle the pressure: "I'm really pleased that Justin's got his chance this year, but I do worry for him because Formula One can rip the spine out of you," he told the British press. "He's going to have to be tough to come through it, because it's not just about the racing. I just hope he can handle all the other stuff and show people what he can do."

Wilson beat Webber to the 2001 F3000 title and the Australian thinks the series is still one of the best rungs on the ladder to F1, although his Jaguar team mate, Antonio Pizzonia, who also raced in F3000, thinks the discipline is outdated in the way of a proving ground. Webber believes Wilson was a deserving F3000 champion but although his ability behind the wheel is not in doubt, he will need other strengths in F1.

"I think we're seeing plenty of evidence that guys can come up from Formula 3000 and show they are good enough for F1 -- and Justin is up there with the best of them," said Webber. "There's no doubt Justin's got the ability and he's been unlucky not to get a drive before now."

"He was a good champion in F3000, and beat me fair and square, but he's a really nice, gentle guy, and that can work against him in F1. It's a hard place and he could be too nice, too naive, to cope with it."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Mark Webber , Justin Wilson , Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi