Arden boss says series still the best

Leading Formula 3000 team boss Christian Horner has backed the category as the best Formula 1 feeder series

Arden boss says series still the best

Horner, whose Arden squad won the FIA International F3000 title until Tomas Enge was docked points due to testing positive for a banned substance, hit back at claims that the series has lost its standing on the single-seater ladder. Jaguar F1 driver Antonio Pizzonia was the latest to knock the series recently.

"I firmly believe in Formula 3000," said Horner, speaking at AUTOSPORT International at the NEC. "The standard is very high in F3000 and it's the best training ground for Formula 1. The drivers get to show the F1 teams what they can do, and they get to race on grand prix tracks. It gives them the best training to overcome that final hurdle into F1.

"The downside is the lack of manufacturer backing and a lack of promotion, which is a shame, but it still has a very viable role to play and is highly regarded by the FIA," he added.

Horner has already contracted Swede Bjorn Wirdheim for 2003, and is close to finalising his second driver after an exhaustive driver evaluation testing programme, which included James Courtney and Britain's Westley Barber.

Minardi's Justin Wilson, a former series champion, also backed the category: "F3000 is a high pressure situation, in the past there was only one 45-minute session to qualify. If you can master F3000, you can handle anything."

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