The drivers for Thunder in the Park

The now-annual Minardi Thunder in the Park event at Donington Park on August 10-11 will once again give F1 fans the chance to take a look behind the scenes of F1 with the team promising spectators the chance to get close to the drivers and the cars. The event will feature a 12-lap "high-speed demonstration" involving six of the Minardi two seaters. Two of the regular cars will also be used for pitstop demonstrations throughout the day.

The driving staff is a star-studded one with 1996 World Champion Damon Hill returning to the F1 cockpit. He will be joined by Minardi boss Paul Stoddart, the team's drivers Mark Webber and Alex Yoong plus Christjian Albers, David Saelens, Giorgio Pantano, Bryan Herta and Justin Wilson. Commentary for the event will be from Murray Walker, who remains the most-recognized voice in the sport despite having retired from his job at ITV.

The meeting will include a round of the Euro F3000 Championship, a European Superkart event and a Formula Palmer Audi race. In recent days there has been speculation that Herta is discussing a deal to drive for the team from Hungary onwards but our sources say that it has not yet even been decided if Yoong will be stood down. If that happens it is unlikely to be for more than two races. Yoong is thought likely to struggle to qualify in Hungary and Belgium but the team sees no problems for Alex at Monza, Indianapolis and Suzuka.

However, it remains to be seen, if he is stood down, what effect this has on his desire to go on racing for the team. It is possible that Yoong could decide that he does not want to go on in F1 and then the drive might be available for the rest of the year. In that case, Herta is probably a candidate from Monza onwards but there are believed to be others in the frame as well if that case arises.

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