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No licence for Leinders 05 Mar 2004

Bas Leinders (BEL) Minardi Test Driver at the launch of the Minardi PS04B.
Australian Grand Prix Preparations, Rd 1, Albert Park, Australia, 3 March 2004

Belgian must wait until Malaysia for debut

Minardi’s newly-signed third driver Bas Leinders was refused permission to participate in practice on Friday after it emerged the Belgian does not possess the necessary Superlicence.

Leinders, whose Minardi drive was only announced on Wednesday, has won a Formula Three championship in the past and has shown front-running potential in F3000 and the Nissan World Series.

However, unable to secure a Superlicence at such short notice, he was forced to sit out what would have been his Grand Prix debut.

Minardi team boss Paul Stoddart vowed to correct the oversight, while promising to make this afternoon's FIA press conference "interesting”.