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An outbreak of test drivers in F1

THERE was a rash of action on the test driver market in Germany last weekend with Jaguar Racing announcing the appointment of Andre Lotterer, an 18-year-old Formula 3 driver. Lotterer is the son of German racing engineer HenriĘLotterer, who was briefly in the spotlight in the late 1980s when he ran RAS team Volvos in the European Touring CarĘChampionship.

Lotterer has been picked because Jaguar is aiming to sell a large number of cars in the years ahead in the German market, although he is also useful in Belgium as his mother was a Belgian. Lotterer was the World Junior Kart Champion in 1995 and has had a strong career in Formula ADAC BMW in Germany. He is currently racing for the Red Bull-sponsored BertramĘSchaferĘTeam in the German Formula 3 Championship but he was unable to match Giorgio Pantano, who recently tested for Benetton, at the opening race of the series at Zolder.

Jaguar will keep an eye on Lotterer's career and if he is successful he will be given the opportunity to test for Jaguar in the future. The team already has Luciano Burti as a test driver and is committed to testing South African Tomas Scheckter and Indian Narain Karthikeyan later in the year. The team is also believed to be looking for a young American driver.

In the course of the European GP weekend, Minardi announced that it is to have two test drivers this year: Italy's GiorgioĘVinella, who won the Italian F3000 title last year with the Martello team and Spaniard Fernando Alonso who is currently racing in Telefonica colors in the International Formula 3000 series.

Antonia Pizzonia has finally agreed terms with Benetton and will test for the team this week at Valencia as Benetton does preparation work for Monaco. Most of the teams are going to the twisty Spanish track but Williams and BAR are expected at Nogaro while Ferrari will stay at Fiorano.

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