August 22nd, 2002

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Yoong dropped for good?

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart on Wednesday dismissed as "nonsense" reports that Malaysian driver Alex Yoong had been dropped from the team for 2003.

Some reports had quoted Stoddart as saying that Yoong would never drive for the struggling team again, but the team boss insisted on Wednesday that no decision on the driver line-up for next season had yet been taken.

"This is absolute nonsense. I have not said any such thing," news agency AFP reported Stoddart as saying in Autosport magazine.

"My position has been completely consistent whenever I have been asked questions on this subject - no decision has been made on Minardi's driver line up for 2003.

"All the names about which there is speculation are worthy of consideration and might be in with a chance, but we're not under any pressure to make a decision at this stage."

Yoong, who has struggled in his first full season, was rested from the team at last weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix and will also sit out the Belgian Grand Prix on September 1st.

He was replaced by British rookie Anthony Davidson, but Minardi are adamant that Yoong will return to the wheel for the final three races of the season in Italy, the United States and Japan.
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JPM to consider long term future

Juan Pablo Montoya has said that he will consider his next move in Formula One™ motor racing carefully after speculation that other teams, including Ferrari, could be looking to lure the Colombian away from Williams.

The Williams star is expected to be confirmed at Williams for another season very soon, but his longer term future has come into question.

The Colombian has already stated that he would not switch to Ferrari while Michael Schumacher is the star of the show, and has also spoken of his conviction that Williams will be able to beat them after a year of Maranello dominance.

"Well, we don't know how quick the Ferrari car is, maybe next year we are kicking their ass," said Montoya. "You know what it is like in F1™, you wouldn't compromise yourself with a team you haven't even worked with.

"You have a look at who they are, if they are in trouble you don't go there and if not then you don't stay.

"One thing is you have to look at what happened to Jacques [Villeneuve]. He went for the money and it cost him. I wouldn't really. It is very early in my career and I wouldn't do the same."

The Colombian has set the sport alight since arriving at the start of last season - almost winning his third race and taking the fight to Schumacher in aggressive fashion.

He eventually took that often elusive first win at the fifteenth round of the championship in Italy, and he did it in style - winning from pole on Ferrari's home ground.

This year a second victory has proved hard to pin down, even though he has come close twice, but he has taken a sensational series of six pole positions and has only failed to score points four times in thirteen races.

Montoya has been a more consistent performer this season than his team mate Ralf Schumacher, coming home primarily second and third; second four times (always to a Schumacher!), third twice, fourth twice and fifth once.

By comparison R Schumacher's results are made up primarily of third and fourth places. He has won once (Malaysia), finished second once, third twice, fourth three times, fifth once and been out of the points four times. While Ralf has only one DNF, Montoya has three.

Currently the pair are tied for third place in the Drivers' FIA Formula One World Championship on forty points.
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