Honda website
Honda website

DECEMBER 3, 2003

Jaguar frustrated by Wilson situation

Jaguar Racing's boss Dave Pitchforth says that he is "frustrated" at not being allowed to run Justin Wilson as the team's third driver in 2004. The Englishman cannot be used because he has competed in more than six F1 events in the last two years. The F1 team principals agreed to restrict drivers when they were trying to find a solution to running third cars on Friday mornings, a situation which was designed to help the smaller teams which do not have the money to test elsewhere. But while the big teams were willing to concede to third cars they insisted that the drivers must not be experienced tyre testers so as to avoid giving the smaller teams an advantage on a race weekend.

"The rules do not work for us and they do not work for Justin," said Pitchforth. "I would love to put him in a third car on Fridays but I have to deal with the facts. I cannot do that. We need to have good tyre data and a third driver who is on the pace but we have a little bit more time before we need to make a decision."

Pitchforth said that the team had been hugely impressed by Christian Klien.

"We put him in the car system simulator that we have and he did very well," said Pitchforth. "We put him through a series of interviews and the last thing we did was stick him in the car. He did not put a foot wrong. he was very low key, he produced good feedback and he was quick."

Pitchforth said that the car would not carry any major backing from Red Bull but that the drivers would have Red Bull signage on their helmets and overalls.

Unconfirmed rumours from elsewhere in the F1 paddock say that Red Bull has agreed to pay Ford $10m to take Klien and has an option to buy the team at the end of 2004.