Lopez to test Minardi

Renault Development Driver Jose-Maria Lopez has his first taste of Formula 1 this week in Barcelona at the wheel of a Renault F1 car but he will be back in an F1 car shortly - courtesy of Minardi. The Argentine youngster will test for the Faenza team at Vallelunga and it looks like there is a possibility of Renault funding Lopez in a learning year at Minardi as it has done in the past with Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber. There are no shortage of drivers who would like to land a Minardi drive in 2004 and ar least one other is believed to be a protege of an F1 team. The fact that the Italian-based team has yet to confirm its deal with Gimmy Bruni suggests that he is having trouble raising the money that is stipulated in the contract.

There has been lot so talk in recent days about Justin Wilson going back to the team but that will require more finance. Paul Stoddart, the boss of Minardi, says that he would be delighted to take on Wilson again but needs the money to fund the team.

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