Minardi sets sights on Jos and Wilson

Dutchman Jos Verstappen is strong favourite to land a Minardi seat next year, possibly alongside reigning F3000 champion Justin Wilson

Minardi sets sights on Jos and Wilson

"We are in very serious discussions with Verstappen's management, he's a friend and I'd dearly love to run him," team boss Paul Stoddart confirmed in Monza.

Provided that Mark Webber moves on to bigger things in Formula 1, Stoddart will choose from one of seven or eight drivers for his second car, once the Verstappen deal is inked.

The team's Malaysian backing has been confirmed for next year, despite the fact that Alex Yoong, who returned to the cockpit at Monza, will be test and reserve driver rather than occupying a full race seat next year.

Stoddart said at Monza: "I've made no secret of the fact that I would love to run Justin and if I could run Jos and Justin that would be a great line-up. Having said that, it is inescapable that next year's drivers will have to bring some money to the team. It would be wrong to call them pay drivers because the names I'm mentioning are very serious drivers - better to say drivers whose sponsorship they would like to place with Minardi."

Other names in the frame include Anthony Davidson, Giorgio Pantano, Bryan Herta and Enrique Bernoldi.

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