Wilson to stay at Jaguar for the moment

Wilson to stay at Jaguar for the moment

Justin Wilson has been given a stay of execution at Jaguar Racing with the extension of his contract for at least another few weeks. Wilson joined Jaguar for the last five races of the season when the team decided it had enough of Antonio...

Justin Wilson has been given a stay of execution at Jaguar Racing with the extension of his contract for at least another few weeks. Wilson joined Jaguar for the last five races of the season when the team decided it had enough of Antonio Pizzonia, but Wilson continuing with Jaguar in 2004 was never a definite.

Justin Wilson.
Photo by Michael Kim.
McLaren test driver Alex Wurz is the hotly tipped favourite to partner Mark Webber next year but for the moment Jaguar is happy to keep Wilson so he can do some winter testing. "Jaguar Racing and Justin Wilson have decided by mutual consent to extend his contract by a few weeks to allow him to test for us," a team spokesman was quoted as saying.

Wilson had mixed fortunes in his five races for Jaguar this season; he was let down by the car too often but managed to finish eighth at Indianapolis and score his first point for the marque. "I have very much enjoyed my five races with Jaguar and I of course hope to continue with the team in 2004," Wilson said after Suzuka.

Testing resumes at the end of this month and with the 'Heathrow' agreement being scrapped, all teams have 48 days testing a year with as many cars as they wish. Wurz appears to be the main contender for the Jaguar seat but ex-Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld and this year's Minardi man Jos Verstappen have also been linked with the Leaping Cat. However, Wilson is still in with a chance and his contract being extended for testing is a step in the right direction.

If Wilson should find himself out of a job at Jaguar, one person who would be happy to welcome him back is former boss Paul Stoddart. "I sincerely hope that he won't need a Minardi safety net," Stoddart told Motorsport News, about Wilson. "But if Jaguar elected not to retain him he would definitely be at the top of my shopping list."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Antonio Pizzonia , Nick Heidfeld , Justin Wilson , Alexander Wurz , Paul Stoddart , Michael Kim
Teams Sauber , McLaren , Minardi , Jaguar Racing