Jaguar Racing announced Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia as their new drivers for Formula One next season at the British International Motor Show today.
The announcement followed intense media speculation that Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa were to be axed from the team and replaced by the new pairing.
Australian Mark Webber, who had an excellent debut season in F1 with Minardi last year, attended the Show where he gave this response: "I’m delighted to be driving for Jaguar next season – they have an impressive track record in motor racing, and the car has come on leaps and bounds over last season so I’m looking forward to getting behind the wheel."
"This is a great opportunity for me and I’m hungry to do well. It’s going to be a lot of hard work – it’s an intense industry – but we’re under no illusions. Formula One isn’t about sitting there dreaming, it’s about getting on with it, so we’re raring to go.
"We’ve got a big winter ahead of us but I know there are a lot of good people involved with the team and we all know what we have to deliver next season."
Mark has already had one day’s testing in the Jaguar in Barcelona, and will resume testing once the winter test ban is lifted from November 26.
Following the announcement, Jaguar’s motor sport PR
manager Nick Perry said: "This is a fantastic appointment for us and a terrific move for Mark. He’s youthful, quick and experienced – what more do you want from a Formula One driver?"
"As far as next season is concerned, we can only wait and see how it goes. A lot of it is down to the team, the car, the tyres… but we believe we’ve now got the right package to challenge at a higher level."
"Antonio Pizzonia is a raw talent, but he has solid experience testing with BMW Williams last season, so we’re confident he can prove himself at this level. With both Mark and Antonio on board, we’re fielding a very competitive package next season."