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Old 11-01-2002, 09:30   #1 (permalink)
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Jaguar announces new F1 drivers for 2003

The Telegraph/11-01-02

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."

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Old 11-01-2002, 13:24   #2 (permalink)
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Congrats to Mark. Given the latter season improvements in the Jaguar there is some hope for next year.

Cheers
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Old 11-01-2002, 14:37   #3 (permalink)
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Jaguar steals show on motor sport day

The Telegraph/11-01-02

Crowds flocked to the NEC in Birmingham today for the first of two motor sport days at the British International Motor Show, where car makers wheeled out their sporting models and invited race drivers along to their stands.

The biggest buzz by far was created by the staggering announcement that Mark Webber and Antonio Pizzonia were replacing Eddie Irvine and Pedro de la Rosa in Jaguar’s Formula One team next season.

Australian Mark Webber was at the Show, and was mobbed by the media and fans alike when he stepped on to the Jaguar stand.

"It’s a pleasure to be here at the Show on what’s been a fantastic day for me," he said. "And the response has been amazing – people in Britain are passionate about Formula One, so it’s terrific to be driving for a British racing outfit next season."

Elsewhere, Vauxhall had 2002 British Touring Car Champion James Thompson and stablemates Yvan Muller and Paul O’Neil at their stand, on hand to sign autographs and posters for fans.

Other motor racing drivers at the Show today included former BTCC champion Rickard Rydell, European Touring Car Championship driver James Hansen, rising British rally star Justin Dale and former F1 and Le Mans driver Perry McCarthy.

But it wasn’t just stars from the world of motor sport attending the hugely popular motor sport day – sports minister Richard Caborn and deputy Prime Minister John Prescott also made an appearance, demonstrating the government’s support for the British motor sport industry.

Mr Caborn called it the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ of British industry, and praised the Show as being hugely important to the UK’s world-renowned motor sport industry.

And there was good news too for British sports car manufacturers today, with Lotus, Noble, TVR and Morgan all reporting huge interest generated throughout the Show.

"It’s been tremendous for us," said TVR’s Ben Samuelson, "We sold out six weeks’ production on the first day of the show alone, and interest from motor sport fans today has been astonishing."

And with another motor sport day to come, organisers are gearing up for another bumper day.

Motor Show spokesman Al Clarke said: "Crowds have flocked to the NEC today to take in the best of auto sports in Britain. And with another great day tomorrow, we expect even more fans to pour through the doors of the NEC."

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