Zonta joins Toyota as test driver

Ricardo Zonta was announced as official test driver for Toyota at the launch of the TF103 today. The Brazilian will be reserve driver to compatriot Christiano da Matta and Frenchman Olivier Panis. No stranger to Formula One, Zonta drove for BAR...

Ricardo Zonta was announced as official test driver for Toyota at the launch of the TF103 today. The Brazilian will be reserve driver to compatriot Christiano da Matta and Frenchman Olivier Panis.

No stranger to Formula One, Zonta drove for BAR in 1999 and 2000 but was replaced, ironically, by Panis. He was test driver for Jordan in 2001 and last year he raced in the Telefonica World Series for the Gabord Competition Team.

In 1999 Zonta was sidelined for four races after a big crash during practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix and was temporarily replaced by Mika Salo. In 2000 he scored three championship points but suffered a further two nasty accidents that dented his confidence.

He drove in two Grands Prix for Jordan in 2001, replacing Heinz-Harald Frentzen but the race seat was taken over for the remainder of the season by Jean Alesi.

Zonta replaces former Toyota testers Stephan Sarrazin and Ryan Briscoe, the team opting for the more experienced Brazilian rather than the two youngsters. Toyota resume testing at the Paul Ricard circuit in France tomorrow (January 9th) with Panis and da Matta behind the wheel.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Heinz-Harald Frentzen , Jean Alesi , Olivier Panis , Ricardo Zonta , Mika Salo , Ryan Briscoe
Teams Jordan