Minardi incentive for young Australians

Minardi incentive for young Australians

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is giving an incentive to two young Australian drivers to keep up the hard work by offering a test with the team. F3 drivers Will Davison and Will Power have been promised the chance by Stoddart to test for Minardi, ...

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is giving an incentive to two young Australian drivers to keep up the hard work by offering a test with the team. F3 drivers Will Davison and Will Power have been promised the chance by Stoddart to test for Minardi, providing they continue to make progress.

Paul Stoddart.
Photo by Mark Gledhill.
"We'll be watching their progress during 2004 and hopefully they can keep making good headway," said Stoddart at a press conference in Sydney. "The taste we can give them through a test drive will not guarantee they get to F1, by any stretch of the imagination, but it should be very good experience for them."

It was at Minardi that Australian Mark Webber made his debut in F1 and the team has started off some well-known names in the sport such as Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Fernando Alonso and Justin Wilson. Stoddart commented on how difficult it is for young drivers to break in F1 these days when finances are as important, if not more so, than talent, and he hopes Australia will back its stars of the future.

"To get into F1 requires a lot apart from talent, especially enormous commitment and, generally, a lot of financial support, because there are lots of drivers competing for just 20 spots -- and only three, four or perhaps five vacancies arise each year," he said.

"Drivers from a lot of other countries get a lot of financial backing and I'm very much hoping that one day we'll see a young Australian driver get similar support from the Australian corporate sector. Mark Webber got there without much corporate support, comparatively, but he will probably be the last to do that."

Davison and Power are scheduled to have their seat fittings for Minardi at the Australian Grand Prix in March, with the actual tests taking place later in the season. Meanwhile, at Vallenlunga in Italy this week, Minardi will try out youngsters Heikki Kovalainen, Jose-Maria Lopez, Fabrizio Del Monte, Norbert Siedler and Narain Karthikeyan.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Mark Webber , Justin Wilson , Fernando Alonso , Narain Karthikeyan , Paul Stoddart , Will Davison , Heikki Kovalainen , Will Power , Norbert Siedler
Teams Minardi