F1 driver-turned-commentator John Watson is to experience the thrills of an A1 Grand Prix car first hand after he was invited the pilot the A1 Team Ireland car around the Zandvoort circuit when the championship kicks off in Holland.

Currently a commentator for Sky Sports, Watson has not driven at Zandvoort since 1983 when he partnered Niki Lauda at McLaren, but will be given the chance to show he still has what it takes when he jumps into Michael Devaney's car on the first day of competition.

Indeed, 1982 runner-up Watson is looking forward to tackling the A1 GP car, not least because he is eager to use his rare insight whilst commentating on the upcoming 2006/2007 season.

"It's one thing being a commentator and entirely another to drive one of these cars and therefore give the fans a totally different perspective," said Watson. "It is a unique opportunity for me as a broadcaster to talk the fans through a lap while actually driving a car and I'm sure it will make for compelling viewing. I am certainly looking forward to it."

Watson's chance comes courtesy of his links with team boss Mark Gallagher, who invited Watson to test the Jordan 191 in 1990 when he worked with the burgeoning team. It would go on to be the race car of Michael Schumacher.

"To see John driving the A1 Team Ireland car is going to be a great moment for all the team and for those of us who followed his highly successful F1 career," said Gallagher. "But most of all, it is going to give A1GP fans a fascinating insight."

"I vividly remember watching John win the British Grand Prix at Silverstone in 1981, which was the first Grand Prix I attended. It's great news that he has agreed to have this short run in our car, particularly at Zandvoort - a track where he raced in Formula One and which has a famous history."

 

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