Reports suggest that Antonio Pizzonia will be replaced at Jaguar following the rookie’s lacklustre start to the F1 season, but team-mate Mark Webber is reluctant to rush to the Brazilian’s aid.
Reports suggest that Antonio Pizzonia could be replaced at Jaguar following the rookie’s lacklustre start to the F1 season, but team-mate Mark Webber is reluctant to rush to the Brazilian’s aid.
There have been rumours that Pizzonia's position at Jaguar was under review and although the Milton Keys-based team was trying to give him some leeway, Pizzonia could be dropped in favour of regular McLaren-Mercedes test driver Alex Wurz.
Austrian newspaper reported on Sunday that Wurz had already negotiated his departure from the Woking-based team and would replace Pizzonia at the Austrian Grand Prix in Spielberg on May 18. McLaren have since confirmed that Wurz has been approached by Jaguar Racing’s management.
"I feel sorry for Antonio but, at this level, there's no way you can start helping another driver. This is not Formula Ford," Webber told the British press at the weekend. "You have to stand on your own two feet. In this game, you fight the war with the soldiers you've got because no one wants excuses."
Pizzonia has been outclassed by Webber in the four races so far in 2003 and Jaguar is alarmed at the difference in performance between the two. Pizzonia has been undergoing intensive testing in order to raise his game for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend.
"A lot of drivers think they have worked hard to get into F1 but they haven't. And once you are in, you have to make sure you don't leave a stone unturned and keep pushing yourself. It makes you realise you can't get too cocky and blasé about it all,” Webber said.
"Testing is one thing but, on the big day, you have to perform. I think Antonio can turn things around because he has been quick during a grand prix weekend but it's been in the wrong sessions," the Australian added.
Meanwhile, Jaguar Racing managing director David Pitchforth maintains the team is supporting Pizzonia:
"Contrary to the wave of media speculation around us on the subject of Antonio's future, he will race this weekend in Barcelona and we will continue to support his development and growth," Pitchforth said.
"Both Jaguar Racing and Antonio share a mutual interest in the outcome of his development and both sides have every intention of extracting the maximum from the potential of the R4 package over a race weekend," he added.
Pizzonia commented: "It is important for me to ignore the recent press speculation about my position in the team and perform to the best of my ability in Barcelona."
Original article from Car