Honda website
Honda website

DECEMBER 19, 2006

Minardi Team USA drivers

It is logical to suggest, given their history together, that Paul Stoddart and Jos Verstappen will come to some agreement for Verstappen to race in Champ Car with the new Minardi Team USA but in Holland there is also talk of Jos moving in at Forsythe Racing, alongside Paul Tracy. This may simply be Verstappen trying to get some leverage in his negotiations with Stoddart while Stoddart's suggestion that there are plenty of drivers on the market would seem to suggest that he too is playing the negotiating game.

Given that Nelson Philippe finished third in the championship this year in the HVM-CTE team, it would be logical to keep him on in order to maintain progress and stability. Dan Clarke clearly has potential as well and much can be gained from NOT changing too much when a new management arrives at a team. Stoddart has been around long enough to know that and if money is not a problem, he will not be forced to take drivers whom he would not otherwise consider.

Stoddart says that the team will run "two cars confirmed" and that the team has not discounted a third.

"I think that a fourth car would be a bit much for next year," he says. "I think a third car is what we're aiming for and if we can see that we've got three drivers that will complement each other, complement the information and data feedback to the team, you know, then it's a possibility."

Stoddart is talking to "four or more" drivers. Stoddart has said that a former Minardi driver will be involved in the team but that leaves open a lot of possibilities, not least Katherine Legge, Justin Wilson, Robert Doornbos and Verstappen.

Stoddart has confirmed that Doornbos backer Harry Muermans is involved to some extent but it is yet to be finalised to what extent that will be.