Wednesday August 22nd, 2001
Brazilian tail-ender Tarso Marques hopes to stay in Formula One even if little-known Malaysian Alex Yoong takes his place at Minardi in the next few weeks.
The 25-year-old Marques, regularly last on the grid, has finished just five of his 13 Grands Prix this season and at Silverstone in July became the first driver in three years to fail to qualify for a race.
He is currently on a race-by-race deal at Minardi, who are assessing Yoong over a full race distance in Italy this week in a test that should lead to him being awarded his FIA super-license.
Asked whether he would be looking to secure a Formula One test driver position or would return to America, where he previously raced in Champ Cars, Marques said he had not given up on Formula One: "We are talking to some teams even to be driving still, even to be an official driver for next year," he told Reuters at the Donington Park circuit where he drove a two-seater Formula One car on Tuesday.
"Prost or even Arrows, there is an option still. Minardi would be an option. It all depends on the deal, if the situation is not like it is right now, to have better conditions, I'd be happy to stay," said the Brazilian.
Marques said he welcomed the likely arrival of Yoong for the good of the team, who need sponsors after being rescued from impending failure by Australian businessman Paul Stoddart in January.
"Yoong brought the sponsor for the team already two or three races ago so he should be in the car," said Marques. "I don't know when but I think as soon as he gets a little bit more used to it he will be driving it. We need the sponsors now and he will bring in a lot of money, it's good for the team so I think they should change."
Published at 10:51:25 GMT