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Home > Sports > News > Reuters > Report

Minardi test drive for 2 Aussies

December 10, 2003 16:38 IST

Minardi owner Paul Stoddart said on Wednesday he would give two young Australians test drives in the Formula One team's car next year.

Will Davison and Will Power will be fitted with an individually moulded Minardi seat in the team's garage at Melbourne's Albert Park circuit during the March 4-7 Australian Grand Prix, Stoddart told reporters in Sydney.

"The taste we can give them through a test drive will not guarantee they get to F1 ... but it should be very good experience for them," Stoddart, who is also Australian, said.

Both Davison, 21, won a race in the British Formula Three Championship this year and Power, 22, also took part in the series.

Britain-based aviation millionaire Stoddart, who bought Minardi three years ago, said he was proud of the team's role in fostering young talent, including Australia's Mark Webber, now with Jaguar, and Spain's Fernando Alonso, who won the Hungarian Grand Prix for Renault in August.

Stoddart said Webber's debut F1 drive with Minardi in Melbourne last year, when the Australian finished fifth, was the best day of his life.

"I'd obviously love to see another Aussie come through and make it to F1," Stoddart said.

Minardi failed to score a point in Formula One this year, finishing 10th in the constructors' title.

"Minardi finished 2003 in better shape than it's been for a while," Stoddart said.

"It's not easy. At the end of the day we're solid, and we'll be there next year, and the year after, and the year after that -- but hopefully better funded along the way."

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