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Minardi test for Venezuelan youngster 10 Nov 2004

Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Cram Competition. Formula Renault 2000, Rd1 Monza, Italy, 26-28 March 2004. World © Capilitan/Sutton

Minardi have announced that promising young Venezuelan driver Pastor Maldonado will test for the team in Italy later this month.

Maldonado, just 19, will join Minardi tester Tiago Monteiro, along with a number of other young drivers being assessed by the team, at Misano’s Autodromo Santamonica during the week of November 22.

"In true Minardi tradition, we always try to seek out and encourage talented young drivers," said Minardi boss Paul Stoddart. "Although Pastor has only been racing single-seaters for three seasons, his winning ways indicate he has a lot of natural ability, and I hope he will enjoy his first taste of F1 when he tests with us at Misano in two weeks."

Macaray-born Maldonado graduated from karting to single-seaters in 2002. This year he won the Italian Formula Renault 2000 title with eight wins, adding another two victories in the International Formula Renault Championship.

Minardi, whose race seats were filled by Hungarian Zsolt Baumgartner and Italian Gianmaria Bruni this year, have yet to announce next season’s driver line-up. They have, however, confirmed that their entry for the 2005 championship has been lodged, under the name Minardi European.