MOTORSPORT: Minardi give Wilson break into big time

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Date: Dec. 17, 2002
Publisher: MGN Ltd.
Document Type: Brief article
Length: 223 words

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JUSTIN Wilson will line up alongside the likes of five-time world champion Michael Schumacher next season after finally getting his For-mula One breakthrough. The 24-year-old was being unveiled as Britain's latest Grand Prix driver by Minardi at a hotel near Heathrow Airport today.

Wilson has been given his break into motor sport's premier series having been told to find pounds 2million in sponsorship. The Sheffield-born racer will become the 138th Brit to compete in the championship since 1950 when he makes his debut in Melbourne on March 9. Wilson missed out on a Grand Prix debut with Minardi last season as temporary replacement for Malaysia's Alex Yoong because his 6ft 3in frame could not fit into the cockpit.

But Wilson proved that he would have no problems with the 2003 car at a seat fitting at the Anglo-Italian team's factory in Faenza last month.

And former Minardi driver Mark Webber insists that Wilson's height should not be a problem.

'Lots of people are raving on about his height and I am sure it is doing his head in,' said Webber, who was beaten into second place in the F3000 Championship by Wilson. 'He will just want to go out and drive.

'He might have a few uncomfortable afternoons with his knees and elbows, but if he's doing the job that's all that matters.'

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A95516043