Gene poised to take Williams test seat

Minardi driver Marc Gene is close to being confirmed as BMW-Williams' test driver for 2001

Gene poised to take Williams test seat

The Spaniard, although still under contract to Minardi until the end of the year, visited Williams' Oxfordshire base over the weekend for discussions with team boss Sir Frank Williams.

Gene is the latest driver to choose a test deal with a top team over racing for a smaller outfit - a trend set by Olivier Panis last year, when he quit Prost to test for McLaren. The Spaniard's move to the Grove-based team will complete the 2001 test driver line-up among the front-running teams.

The 26-year-old's position at Minardi came under threat following the withdrawal of the team's Telefonica backing. The Spanish telecommunications giant funded the majority of Gene's drive at Minardi, while the ex-Formula Nissan champion is believed to have lost faith in the Faenza-based outfit.

Gene's fellow countryman Fernando Alonso is tipped as his most likely replacement at Minardi, as the Formula 3000 race-winner already has a contract with the Formula 1 minnows. But Ferrari has also been in touch with Alonso, with a view to giving the 19-year-old a testing role alongside Luca Badoer.

"The management has not decided about drivers for next year," said a Minardi spokeswoman. "It depends on the sponsors, the engine and many other factors."

shares
comments
Webber Confirmed as Benetton Test Driver
Previous article

Webber Confirmed as Benetton Test Driver

Next article

Pollock calls for peace at BAR

Pollock calls for peace at BAR
Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss Plus

Why Vasseur relishes 'feeling the pressure' as Ferrari's F1 boss

OPINION: Fred Vasseur has spent only a few weeks as team principal for the Ferrari Formula 1 team, but is already intent on taking the Scuderia back to the very top. And despite it being arguably the most demanding job in motorsport, the Frenchman is relishing the challenge

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023 Plus

The crucial tech changes F1 teams must adapt to in 2023

Changes to the regulations for season two of Formula 1's ground-effects era aim to smooth out last year’s troubles and shut down loopholes. But what areas have been targeted, and what impact will this have?

Formula 1
Jan 26, 2023
Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history? Plus

Are these the 50 quickest drivers in F1 history?

Who are the quickest drivers in Formula 1 history? LUKE SMITH asked a jury of experienced and international panel of experts and F1 insiders. Some of them have worked closely with F1’s fastest-ever drivers – so who better to vote on our all-time top 50? We’re talking all-out speed here rather than size of trophy cabinet, so the results may surprise you…

Formula 1
Jan 25, 2023
One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1 Plus

One easy way the FIA could instantly improve F1

OPINION: During what is traditionally a very quiet time of year in the Formula 1 news cycle, FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem has been generating headlines. He’s been commenting on massive topics in a championship that loves them, but also addressing necessary smaller changes too. Here we suggest a further refinement that would be a big boon to fans

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
How can McLaren keep hold of Norris? Plus

How can McLaren keep hold of Norris?

Lando Norris is no longer the young cheeky-chappy at McLaren; he’s now the established ace. And F1's big guns will come calling if the team can’t give him a competitive car. Here's what the team needs to do to retain its prize asset

Formula 1
Jan 24, 2023
What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make? Plus

What difference did F1's fastest pitstops of 2022 make?

While a quick pitstop can make all the difference to the outcome of a Formula 1 race, most team managers say consistency is more important than pure speed. MATT KEW analyses the fastest pitstops from last season to see which ones – if any – made a genuine impact

Formula 1
Jan 23, 2023
When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter Plus

When F1 ‘holiday’ races kept drivers busy through the winter

Modern Formula 1 fans have grown accustomed to a lull in racing during winter in the northern hemisphere. But, as MAURICE HAMILTON explains, there was a time when teams headed south of the equator rather than bunkering down in the factory. And why not? There was fun to be had, money to be made and reputations to forge…

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2023
What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure Plus

What Porsche social media frenzy says about F1’s manufacturer allure

Porsche whipped up a frenzy thanks to a cryptic social media post last week and, although it turned out to be a false alarm, it also highlighted why manufacturers remain such an important element in terms of the attraction that they bring to F1. It is little wonder that several other manufacturers are bidding for a slice of the action

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2023