Minardi tests for Aussies

Paul Stoddart is the latest Formula 1 team boss to promise test drives for his team. The Aussie wants to give his countrymen Will Power and Will Davison a chance in a Minardi next year

Minardi tests for Aussies

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

Both drivers competed in British Formula 3 this season. Davison was a winner at Croft and ended the year eighth in the championship. Power came 14th in the standings, with a best finish of second at Thruxton.

Stoddart's Minardi team had a lot to do with the rise of Australian Mark Webber, who drove for the team in 2002. "I'd obviously love to see another Aussie come through and make it to F1," said Stoddart.

The pair will have a seat fitting during the Australian Grand Prix at Albert Park in March, before getting their tests sometime during the season.

Minardi may be small and underfunded, but unlike some other team owners, Stoddart has no worries about making it through next season and beyond.

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