Kiesa Takes Wilson's Seat at Minardi

Minardi have announced that Danish star Nicolas Kiesa will replace Justin Wilson at the wheel of their second car this season.

Kiesa Takes Wilson's Seat at Minardi

Minardi have announced that Danish star Nicolas Kiesa will replace Justin Wilson at the wheel of their second car this season.

The Jaguar team said that Briton Wilson, who drove for Minardi in the first 11 races of the season, is to replace Brazilian Antonio Pizzonia alongside Mark Webber for the remaining part of the year.

Copenhagen-born Kiesa, 25, was currently competing in the International F3000 championship with the Den Bla Avis team. The Dane won the Monaco Grand Prix support race at the end of May and was lying fifth in the Championship standings following last Saturday's Silverstone round.

"It's a case of 'mixed feelings' when it comes to Justin's departure from European Minardi," said Minardi boss Paul Stoddart. "We are obviously sad to lose him, but pleased, and proud, that he has been able to demonstrate his undoubted driving talent at Minardi.

"A move to Jaguar Racing gives him the opportunity to develop his talent further and, at the same time, benefits Minardi enormously, as it helps to assure the team's future in Formula One. Like Fernando and Mark before him, Justin is now clearly on his way.

"This also clearly illustrates one of the invaluable roles that the smaller, independent teams fulfil in this sport: they are able to give young drivers the opportunity to showcase their talent and establish themselves as Grand Prix stars of the future.

"Looking ahead, we welcome Nicolas to the team. He comes with impressive racing credentials, and all of us at European Minardi Cosworth look forward to working with him."

Stoddart said Kiesa will test for Minardi at Mugello in Italy on Thursday and Friday, despite an agreed testing ban coming into force between last weekend's British Grand Prix and the Hungarian round in late August.

Minardi, however, form part of a four-team group who have agreed to undertake limited testing during the season in exchange for an extra two hours at Grands Prix weekends.

"We did not sign up for the (voluntary) test ban," said Stoddart. "But I don't think anyone is going to complain about us giving him a Grand Prix distance. We haven't done a single test all year so we don't need a holiday," he added.

Stoddart said he was in the process of informing the other teams of his plans and would 'be very disappointed if there were any objections."

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