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  Thursday, 1 August, 2002, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Herta to get taste of F1
Alex Yoong has failed to qualify three times this year
Yoong may be forced to step down at Minardi
American Bryan Herta will try out a Formula One car for the first time when he gets behind the wheel of a Minardi next week.

The former Cart race winner will drive a 2001 version Minardi at a festival at Donington Park.

The drive has prompted speculation that Herta could become the first American to race in F1 since 1993.

The last US Formula One driver to enter a Grand Prix was Michael Andretti with McLaren in 1993.

Bryan Herta
Herta is a Cart race-winner
Herta will drive the car for several laps as well as taking passengers out in the team's two-seater car.

A Minardi spokesman said Herta would not be testing, since that is not allowed during the summer break before the Hungarian Grand Prix on 18 August.

That makes it extremely unlikely that Herta would immediately fill an apparent vacancy at the team.

Team boss Paul Stoddart has admitted that he is considering resting regular driver Alex Yoong, who has failed to qualify three times in 12 races this season.

Spain's Fernando Alonso has been tipped as a possible replacement for Yoong in Hungary and Belgium.

Alonso drove for Minardi last year and has secured a seat at Renault next season.

However, there has been speculation that Herta might race for Minardi at the US Grand Prix in September, as well as in other races towards the end of the season.

Yoong and his team-mate Mark Webber of Australia, as well as former world champion Damon Hill, will also drive the two-seaters in the "Thunder in the Park II" event.

See also:

01 Aug 02 | Formula One
01 Aug 02 | Formula One
05 Jul 02 | Formula One
26 Jun 02 | Formula One
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