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  Tuesday, 6 August, 2002, 17:36 GMT 18:36 UK
Yoong made to sweat
Alex Yoong has failed to be competitive in F1 this year
Yoong has struggled to come to terms with F1
Formula One driver Alex Yoong will have to wait until next week before he finds out whether he will be axed by Minardi for this month's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Minardi team owner Paul Stoddart has said that he will not make a decision on the Malaysian's future with the team until Monday.

Yoong, 26, failed to qualify for the third time this season at the German Grand Prix 10 days ago and Stoddart said after the race that the rookie could be demoted to the position of test driver.

Stoddart said on Tuesday: "We would never desert a driver, but we need to make sure he is confident of qualifying in Hungary.


Yoong expects that there is a possibility that he might be replaced in Hungary
Alex Yoong's website

"If he is not then we will rest him for a couple of races and help him get his confidence back.

"It is no different to a footballer - if they suffer a drop in form then they get demoted to the reserves and that is just what we would do with Alex."

Yoong will have discussions with Stoddart after this weekend when he takes part in the team's "Thunder in the Park" event at Donington Park.

Yoong has a clause in his contract which allows team owner Paul Stoddart to look elsewhere if the rookie fails to qualify for two races.

His inability to qualify at the last race in Germany followed failures in Britain and San Marino.

Yoong's official website said on Monday: "Yoong expects that there is a possibility that he might be replaced in Hungary as he has an agreement with Stoddart that he is not to miss qualification in two Grands Prix."

Fernando Alonso starred for Minardi last season
Alonso could return to Minardi for a couple of races

Briton Justin Wilson, the reigning Formula 3000 champion, had a seat fitting at Minardi on Monday, but at 6 ft 3 in he was too tall to fit in the car.

"I flew out and sat in the car but unfortunately I can't quite get in," he said. "If they do change drivers, it won't be me."

Briton Anthony Davidson, the BAR test driver, has been mentioned in connection with the vacancy, but he said he had not been contacted by the team.

Ex-Minardi driver Fernando Alonso is said to be favourite for the drive at the next two races in Hungary and Belgium.

And there is speculation that former Cart driver Bryan Herta might take over towards the end of the season, including an appearance in September's US Grand Prix.

The American will drive a Minardi in an exhibition event at Donington later this month.

Former Arrows and Benetton driver Jos Verstappen has said that he turned down the chance to replace Yoong.

See also:

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