Monday November 5th, 2001
Australian Mark Webber has revealed he is talking to the Minardi team in order to move to the small Italian outfit after admitting that he is not wanted as test driver for Renault in 2002.
Minardi star Fernando Alonso, contracted to Renault, was moved to the test drive role from Minardi, and Webber wants to move the other way. Helped by Renault team chief Flavio Briatore, he is hoping to be loaned out to join up with countryman and former boss Paul Stoddart for 2002.
"Flavio doesn't want me to be a test driver," said Webber. "He has told me that. I would like to be on the grid next year. And I would like to think I am in the frame at Minardi. I had a good time with them in Formula 3000.
"We are talking and I think the chances of getting on the grid next year are reasonable."
There are also seats available at Prost and, possibly, Arrows, but after former Minardi driver Fernando Alonso was moved to Renault for 2002, the swap deal is the most likely move for Webber.
Webber would be the first Australian on the Grand Prix grid since David Brabham in 1994.
Published at 10:14:13 GMT