Minardi confirm back-to-back Arrows test
28 August 2003 – Minardi chief Paul Stoddart confirmed internet speculation on Wednesday that his team will test last year's Arrows car next month.
Jos Verstappen will drive the A23, designed by McLaren's Mike Coughlan, back-to-back with the current Cosworth-powered PS03, to see which is faster. 'We'll be doing the test on the 16th at Mugello,' said the Australian, who bought five Arrows chassis in June thanks to a 'generous' Dutch sponsor.
He said the test would be used to gather 'accurate driver reports' to see if any components of the A23 could be incorporated into next year's Minardi.
Stoddart reveals that he had to cancel the initially scheduled back-to-back test after Justin Wilson switched teams to Jaguar Racing for Hockenheim. 'We were ready to go,' said the 48-year-old from Coburg near Melbourne, 'but when we did the swap with Nicolas [Kiesa] it had to be rescheduled.'
Minardi used the 'one and only' testing opportunity during a seven-week test ban to wrack up enough miles for the rookie Dane to collect his FIA superlicense.
The Faenza-based team, with the smallest budget in Formula One, celebrated its 300th grand prix in Budapest last Sunday.
A spokesman confirmed that the back-to-back session will be a 'closed test' at Mugello, at which Ferrari is also scheduled to be present.