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   Thursday, 9 January, 2003, 16:44 GMT
Minardi sign Verstappen
New Minardi driver Jos Verstappen
Verstappen had an ill-starred time at Arrows
Dutch F1 veteran Jos Verstappen has been unveiled as the new driver with Minardi.

It is thought the 30 year old has brought with him 2m of sponsorship to secure the drive.

"I am very pleased to be back in Formula One and to have signed to drive for Minardi in 2003," Verstappen said.

"Up and down the pit lane, it has always been known that Minardi builds good cars and is a strong little team that has only been prevented from achieving its full potential over the years by a lack of sponsorship.

"I am really impressed with Paul Stoddart's plans for the team and by this year's technical package, which looks strong to me."

Hopefully his experience is going to help the whole team

Minardi driver Justin Wilson

Verstappen has been linked with a host of teams during the past few months, including former team Arrows and Jordan.

But after Touring Cars driver Christijan Albers ruled himself out of the running for the vacant slot at Minardi, team owner Paul Stoddart swooped for Verstappen.

Minardi's other driver, Justin Wilson, said he hoped to form a good partnership with Verstappen.

"From what I have seen of him, he's a good guy," Wilson told the BBC.

"I met him a couple of weeks ago and I look forward to working with him.

"Hopefully his experience is going to help the whole team."

Wilson added that he felt the veteran Dutch driver would make Minardi a real force in 2003.

"The car is going to be one of the best, and all the team are very excited," he said.

"The engine is fantastic, so hopefully the whole package will come together and we will be able to do something with that."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
 Minardi's Justin Wilson
"We can work together to improve the team"
See also:

02 Jan 03 | Formula One
13 Sep 02 | Formula One
07 Aug 02 | Formula One
14 Feb 02 | Formula One
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