Wednesday February 7th, 2001
Minardi confirmed on Wednesday that highly-rated Spanish driver Fernando Alonso has joined the Faenza-based outfit for this season.
Alonso, 19, impressed during a test of a European Minardi chassis at the Vairano circuit last Saturday and has now been handed a full drive for 2001.
The Spanish driver finished fourth overall in the FIA International F3000 Championship with Team Astromega and was Minardi's test driver last season.
European Aviation Group chief Paul Stoddart, who acquired the Italian Formula One team last week, said: "We've had our eye on Fernando for some time, and we are delighted to have signed him.
"Any driver who can come into the ultra-competitive world of Formula 3000 and, in only his second of single-seater racing, winning at a circuit like Spa, is clearly a bit special.
"He is going to be a great addition to the team, and I know he will help us hit some of the ambitious targets we are setting for European Minardi F1."
Minardi are expected to announce who will partner Alonso shortly.