FEBRUARY 9, 1998
WE hear that Minardi is having difficulty convincing the FIA that Esteban Tuero should be granted a Formula 1 Superlicence, which he must have if he is to race this year. In previous years there were specific rules for the issuing of Superlicences but these were dropped because they proved to be rather inconsistent. Instead the FIA introduced a rule (Article 47 of the International Sporting Code) which states that "the FIA reserves the right to refuse the issuing of a Super Licence without having to give the reasons for this."
It seems that the 19-year-old Argentine driver has not convinced the Formula 1 Commission that he has sufficient experience to be granted a Superlicence having completed in only a couple of half-seasons of racing at international level.
If Tuero's licence is refused Minardi will find itself in some difficulties as Tuero was bringing a considerable amount of money to the team from Argentine sponsors. This would probably drive the same sponsors to ask for Norberto Fontana, the only Argentine driver who is currently in possession of a Superlicence. Fontana hopes to sign a deal to drive for Tyrrell but there is no shortage of others keen to get the drive, notably Brazilian Ricardo Rosset, who is believed to be offering $5m.
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