Alfa Romeo signs up Farfus

Formula 1 pretender Augusto Farfus Jr. from Brazil has signed to drive alongside Gabriele Tarquini and Fabrizio Giovanardi in the works Alfa Romeo touring car team. Farfus is only just 20 and was the European Formula 3000 champion last year. The move is an odd one in that most young drivers stay in single-seaters whatever happens and this suggests that Farfus is hoping that the Alfa Romeo deal may lead to some kind of long-term deal with Alfa Romeo's sister company Ferrari. It should be remembered that Felipe Massa drove several races with the Alfa Romeo team early in his career. He has been linked to Ferrari ever since and is now a Ferrari test driver and racing for Ferrari's customer team Sauber. It may be that Farfus has agreed to join Alfa Romeo for a while to wait for an opportunity higher up the motorsport ladder in 2005 or 2006. At 20 he is still very young and has time to mature.

"I am very happy," said Farfus. "I received some proposals from other categories, but in this stage of my career it is necessary to keep one's feet on the ground. To be in a works team, with is part of Fiat is the best way. My objective is F1 and I want to be in F1 for a long time."

Alfa Romeo looked at a large number of drivers before choosing Farfus, including several former F1 drivers.

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