The Minardi drive

The decision over who will drive the second Minardi in 2003 is now imminent and our sources indicate that it is a straight fight between Jos Verstappen and Christjian Albers although we have heard whispers from the United States that there is a possibility that Bryan Herta might still surprise if he can pull a big sponsorship deal which is under discussion. But time is running out for the American and at the moment it is seems to be between Verstappen and Albers. The younger driver had an option with the team until December 31 but that has now run out and no money was forthcoming so Verstappen is now back in pole position for the drive as he is believed to have more money available.

Jordan has officially responded to reports that Verstappen and Jordan have done a deal saying that "nothing has been finalised". There has been talk but as we understand it Verstappen has less than half the money that Jordan is asking for.

Our sources in Austria say that there is no way that there is going to be a deal between Jordan and Red Bull unless it is a straight sale with Eddie Jordan departing the scene.

It is worth noting that Minardi is also believed to have an opening for one or perhaps even two test and development drivers who will be used on Fridays at each Grand Prix, giving the drivers 16 chances throughout the year to be noticed by the other F1 teams. These will, however, involve sponsorship being provided for the team.

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