Neel Jani, Scott Speed and Minardi

If you listen to the formula one grapevine, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Scott Speed are hot contenders for the Red Bull-owned Minardi seats next year.

But the rumor mill has not forgotten another young hotshoe who is backed by the energy drink brand — Neel Jani.

Although motor sport might be banned in his Swiss homeland, the 21-year-old – a former Sauber tester – is probably third on the candidates' list.

''He is a really good talent,'' Red Bull's motor sport advisor, former F1 driver Helmut Marko, told the Switzerland based 'Blick' newspaper.

Jani had a massive crash at the top of Eau Rouge in the GP2 category on Sunday, hitting not only a rival car but the guardrail at about 200kmh.

Complaining of vision and back problems, and extensive bruising, Neel Jani took a trip to the local hospital for checks but is basically ok.

Meanwhile, Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz's right-hand-man, Dany Bahar, admitted that America's Scott Speed is a front runner for a Minardi ride in the 2006 season.

The young Californian has already signed to be a 2006 test driver. ''With this new opportunity we will have to discuss it again,'' Bahar told Autosport.

''Scott (has) high potential, and being an American, he's very important to us. And now we have a cockpit to offer.''

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