Portugal's Monteiro lands Minardi test seat 03 Mar 2004
The Minardi team announced on Wednesday the signing of Tiago Monteiro as an official test driver for the 2004 season. The 27-year-old, from Oporto, Portugal, will assist the team with their test and development programme, dovetailing these commitments with a full season competing in the Nissan World Series, where he will be driving for Carlin Motorsport.
Monteiro has certainly not trodden a typical route to the top levels of motor racing, having started his career in 1997, in the French Porsche Carrera Cup. Since then, Monteiro has raced successfully in a wide variety of categories, including the French F3 Championship, French GT Championship, Andros Trophy (ice racing), and FIA International F3000 Championship, while also competing in a number of significant one-off events, such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Macau Grand Prix, Korea Super Prix and Marlboro Masters. In 2003, he joined Fittipaldi Dingman Racing for a season in the hard-fought Champ Car World Series.
"We're very pleased to have signed Tiago as a test driver," said Minardi Team Principal, Paul Stoddart. "It is precisely because of his extensive motor racing experience, and his obvious adaptability to widely differing types of machinery, that we felt he could be of real assistance to us in developing the Minardi Cosworth PS04B this year. The new car has shown distinct promise in pre-season testing, but we are very aware that nothing in F1 stands still - we need to have a solid test programme in place in order to work on steadily improving the new chassis. We believe that Tiago, and fellow tester, Bas Leinders, will be able to help us achieve our goals in this area."