FEBRUARY 15, 2002
Who will get the remaining test drives?
With the Formula 1 driver line-up for 2002 now finalized (unless off course a revived Prost Grand Prix organization appears) and that means that the only jobs available are test driving roles.
Most of the big teams have now settled on the drivers who will be doing their work this season. Ferrari has Luca Badoer and Luciano Burti; McLaren is using Alex Wurz, Darren Turner and perhaps Gary Paffett as well; Williams has Marc Gene and Antonio Pizzonia; Renault Sport has Fernando Alonso and rumors suggest that another role will go to Portugal's Tiago Monteiro; British American Racing has Darren Manning, Anthony Davidson and Ryo Fukuda; Jordan has yet to name anyone but it is expected that German Marcel Lassee will get the job thanks to his links with Deutsche Post; Jaguar Racing has arrangements with Andre Lotterer and James Courtney; Arrows has yet to name anyone (but may do so tomorrow) Sauber is bucking the trend and saying that it does not need anyone as its two drivers are keen to get as much track time as possible. Minardi is expected to announce a deal when the team launches in Kuala Lumpur, probably with Tarso Marques. Toyota has Ryan Briscoe and seems to have several other youngsters lining up for future employment although the team might be interested in finding someone with a bit more experience.
Of the drivers who are available for work the obvious candidate is Jos Verstappen, left out in the cold by Arrows. Ricardo Zonta is still knocking around but his name is not being mentioned much.
Frenchmen Stephane Sarrazin, Jonathan Cochet and Patrick Lemarie all have experience in F1 cars and want to keep their names in the spotlight.