Friday February 16th, 2001
European Minardi driver Fernando Alonso was out on track in a Formula 3000 car again this week in a bid to help out the his teams's F3000 squad.
Alonso, who finished fourth in last year's championship, appeared at Imola to offer technical knowledge to the team's F3000 squad, in a move thought to be aimed to give the inexperienced racer some track time with the lack of a 2001 Formula One car.
The Spaniard was immediately on the pace at Imola, setting the fastest time of the morning in Andrea Piccini's car, then taking over David Saelens' chassis to run third fastest time of the day.
"It was fun to get back into a Formula 3000 car again and to be able to drive at a circuit like Imola," said Alonso. "For me though, the focus is now 100 per cent Formula One and the Australian Grand Prix."
Alonso will become the youngest driver on the Formula One grid in Melbourne, and enthused: "I can't wait for the season to start."