Stoddart wants to keep Jos

Paul Stoddart wants to keep Jos Verstappen in his Minardi Formula 1 team next season. The Dutchman's only other option, if he wants to stay in F1, is Jordan.

Stoddart wants to keep Jos

"I'm hoping that we can retain Jos for next year and we are still in negotiations," said Stoddart. "I think he's got a good chance of staying with us and it comes down to what he wants to do.

"Jos has got a lot left in him before he hangs up his spurs. I think he could do a lot worse than driving for us."

Verstappen is well-funded, but this was not enough to earn him the second seat at Jaguar, which recently went to Christian Klien. Both Minardi and Jordan will need a paying driver next year.

Minardi is expected to confirm promising Italian Gianmaria Bruni as one of its drivers in the near future - provided he can raise sufficient sponsorship.

Stoddart admits he regrets that he cannot take back Jaguar refugee Justin Wilson - who simply doesn't have the funding.

"I've got a bit of a soft spot for Justin," said Stoddart. "If I were in the position where the drive was going to go to someone who didn't have a full budget, he'd be top of my list. I've got unfinished business with Justin and I've got a lot of faith in him."

Meanwhile, Minardi has confirmed that Narain Karthikeyan will run for the team on Friday at Vallelunga. The Indian has been linked with a race seat with the Italian outfit for 2004. "This is clearly a great opportunity for me," he said.

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