Having capped a rollercoaster first season in Formula One with two consecutive finishes for Jaguar Racing, including his first World Championship point at Indianapolis, Justin Wilson caught the early-bird flight back from Japan to enjoy a...
Having capped a rollercoaster first season in Formula One with two consecutive finishes for Jaguar Racing, including his first World Championship point at Indianapolis, Justin Wilson caught the early-bird flight back from Japan to enjoy a relatively 'quiet' fortnight following the relentless Grand Prix schedule.
Justin qualified a career-best 10th for the Japanese Grand Prix, the final race of the year, and having returned home reflected on his weekend in the East:
"It was frustrating that Sato gained the place but it was only a matter of time, the same applied when Schumacher closed in. While I wasn't going to give up my position easily, with our lack of grip and the Ferrari's pace it wouldn't have been worthwhile to block or weave but on the other hand I wasn't going to pull to the side either."
"After all that I had a relatively lonely race, I pushed as hard as I could but following my third and final stop my car developed an engine problem and I had to back off towards the end and hang on, hoping events ahead would transpire to boost my position. It started to spit slightly in the closing laps and I thought it might create a little chaos but it didn't happen!"
"Immediately after the race I de-briefed the team as per normal before catching up with some friends. While others partied hard I had a good meal and to be honest had to get to bed as I had to catch an early bus to get to the airport and fly back to the UK! It has to be said though that some people went straight from the bar to the bus!"
While Justin's on-track activities have concluded with the end of the season, the 25-year-old's diary still comprises a blend of sponsor events and media engagements.
"It's been great not to have to live out of a suitcase," Justin remarked. "I've been back for nearly two-weeks and I've been able to chill out and reflect on what's been a whirlwind season. I'll probably get back into the gym early next week to maintain my fitness level in preparation for testing and any other opportunities that may come along. I've also taken the time since I came back from Japan to see friends and get to Sheffield to spend some time with my family - not easily done during the course of a season!"
"I've also been busy with various engagements. HSBC, who sponsor Jaguar Racing, back the World Golf Matchplay Championships and I was invited to attend the final on Sunday at the Wentworth Course in Surrey. My chief role was to present a lucky competition winner, having won a golfing simulator contest, with the keys to a brand new Jaguar X-Type! It's the first time I've been to a major golfing event and it was very pleasant to watch all the action in hospitality at the edge of the 18th green!"
"I followed that up with a trip into London on Monday for a photo-shoot for F1 Magazine. James Allan has produced a feature on my season, which should be out in next month's edition. I had to wear a variety of suits for the shoot and I've been assured the pictures look good. I don't mind doing these things, it was good fun and it's all part of the job!"
"Apart from that I've been busy catching up with autograph signings and taking some time out to get into my latest project - building and flying model aircraft. I've had mixed success so far but my repair skills are developing nicely!"