Honda website
Honda website

SEPTEMBER 13, 2002

Verstappen and Minardi

It is expected that Jos Verstappen will sign for Minardi shortly, returning to Formula 1 in 2003 after an enforced lay-off of a year which resulted from the decision by the Orange Arrows team to dump the Dutchman just before the start of the year. Verstappen is currently involved in legal action with Arrows over what happened but is free to go to Minardi next year - and the team is keen to have him.

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is close to Verstappen, the two having worked together back in 1997 when Jos was driving for Tyrrell and Stoddart was a sponsor of the team. Verstappen went on to work with the abortive Honda Racing Developments, in which Stoddart was also involved and the relationship continued in 2000 when Stoddart was involved with Arrows when Verstappen was racing for the team.

The second Minardi drive is yet to be decided but if Mark Webber goes (as expected) to Jaguar Racing there are at least eight drivers in line for the drive. Justin Wilson (who is believed to be the favorite), Anthony Davidson, Giorgio Pantano, Bryan Herta, Townsend Bell, Mika Salo, David Saelens and Enrique Bernoldi.

It is anticipated that Alex Yoong will be named as the team's 2003 test driver.