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F1, not Champ Car for Doornbos UPDATE #4 (GMM)  Robert Doornbos' sponsor has rejected 'Minardi Team USA' boss Paul Stoddart's claim that the Dutchman is in the frame for a Champ Car seat.

Stoddart revealed this week that he was "talking to" Doornbos, 25, about moving to his new team in the American series in 2007.

Doornbos, who raced for Red Bull in the last few grands prix this year, is notably yet to agree a new test contract with the Milton Keynes based team.

"We are staying in Formula One," Harry Muermans, Doornbos' sponsor, told the magazine Formule 1 Race Report.

Stoddart, 51, also told reporters this week that Muermans would have "some involvement" in the Champ Car team in 2007.

If Doornbos takes a race seat at Toro Rosso as rumored, look for red Bull to move American Scott Speed to Champ Car.

11/21/06 (GMM)  After completing a three race stint alongside David Coulthard at Red Bull late this season, Robert Doornbos is still not ready to divulge his plans for 2007.

The Dutchman, who spent the majority of 2006 as the Austrian team's 'Friday' test driver, has been at the centre of recent gossip that he might replace Scott Speed at the sister Toro Rosso squad next year.

After post-season trips to the US and the coral islands of Maldives, and returning home to Rotterdam, the 25-year-old insists that he is now 'fully ready' for 2007.

Pressed for his precise plans, Doornbos said: "As I've said before, we're very busy with that, and I'm determined to stay in the Red Bull family next year.

"My fans don't have to worry, and I won't either," he added.  "Just be a bit more patient!"

As the Toro Rosso options appears less and less likely, however, Doornbos is tipped to stay at Red Bull as a tester, despite also toying with a switch to the American Champ Car series.

11/15/06 Although Robert Doornbos' hopes of driving for the Toro Rosso outfit were recently dashed, the Dutchman is nonetheless hoping to remain in Formula One next season.

According to reports, Doornbos's management was in talks with Red Bull's junior team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, about the possibility of him replacing Scott Speed in 2007.

However, any chance of that came to an end when STR co-owner, Gerhard Berger, claimed to have heard nothing about the rumor.

He also hinted that it was only a matter of time before the team announced that both Speed and Tonio Liuzzi would be staying on for another year.

But despite that blow to his chances of racing next season, Doornbos is still hoping to remain in Formula One.

"For next year my focus goes out to F1, only!" the Dutchman told the official F1 website.

Doornbos will now be hoping to extend his deal with Red Bull Racing as their official 2007 test driver having filled the role during the 2006 season before being promoted to race-driver following the dismissal of Christian Klien.

"I think I can look back at quite a great season, starting 2006 as Red Bull's test driver and finally finishing this year as a race driver," he told the official F1 website.

"After having raced eight races for Minardi last year, my management and I took the early and wise decision to go testing for Red Bull instead of chasing a race seat for 2006 in a smaller outfit. And it paid off.

"I grabbed this opportunity with both hands and had three strong races. Unfortunately we couldn't score points, but I was still able to out-qualify DC (David Coulthard) in events. Not so bad at all, isn't it?" SportingLife.com

[Editor's Note:  Did anyone seriously think that Bernie was going to let the money behind Doornbos walk out of the F1 paddock and into Champ Car's? Doornbos is now willing to be a test driver for a lowly team.  We will remove him from our 2007 Champ Car Silly Season page.] 

10/16/06 According to this Speedtv.com article, Robert Doornbos is looking more and more likely he will come to Champ Car.

10/11/06 (GMM)  Current Red Bull race driver Robert Doornbos is frustrated about his diminishing Formula One prospects for 2007 and beyond.

The Dutch tester was recently drafted into the race lineup after Christian Klien's departure, but the arrival of Mark Webber at the end of the year means that he won't feature on the 2007 grid.

Doornbos, 25, told Formule 1 RaceReport that he was annoyed that even sister squad Toro Rosso - planning to retain Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed - cannot accommodate him.

"At moments such as these it is very frustrating to be in Formula One," he stated.

It is also reported that Doornbos' proposal to team boss Christian Horner that he be allowed to be a Red Bull tester next year as well as race in Champ Car, was rejected.

Horner, meanwhile, told 'Speed TV' that the new limited 2007 test agreement is likely to have reduced the need for a dedicated test driver.  He added that a third driver may not even be used in the three hours of Friday running.

But, referring to Horner and team magnate Dietrich Mateschitz, Doornbos insisted: "Fortunately all of the important decisions are made in Austria."

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