Baumgartner eyes Minardi and Champ Car

UPDATE #2 Nicolas Kiesa was due to be confirmed as a Minardi driver this week but nothing has been heard about the Danish driver and thus it is now understood to be talking once again with Hungary's Zsolt Baumgartner, who appears to be second in line to the Minardi "throne" alongside Christijan Albers. The team is also believed to be in discussion with another Dutchman, Robert Doornbos about a deal as he is believed to have some money available having lost out on a drive at Jordan. Grandprix.com 02/07/05 According to our F1 sources, Nicolas Kiesa will get the 2nd seat and Friesacher the third seat (Friday test driver) for Minardi this year. If true, then Baumgartner is shut out of F1 for 2005. Will he turn to Champ Car? 02/06/05 Hungarian driver Zsolt Baumgartner has told Sky Sports that, with only one F1 seat remaining to be filled before the 2005 season starts, he remains hopeful he can land it. (We would say his chances are slim and none.) The 24-year-old revealed that he has recently held talks about a return to Paul Stoddart's outfit as a partner to Dutch driver Christijan Albers – but that negotiations are currently at stalemate. "My management is still having talks and I would love to join my ex-team Minardi, but to achieve this goal many conditions must be fulfilled," he said. "They had an offer for us a couple of weeks ago, but the conditions weren't present in this approach. "Since then we haven't started new talks with them," he added.

Baumgartner also mentioned the possibility of an F1 test contract or even pursuing his career in the US Champ Car series. But he has not given up hope of being on the starting grid in Melbourne on March 6. "Many people ask what will happen to me and some of them simply say that my F1 career is over," he said. "It's not a fact, it's just a question and I would like to ask for more patience from the media and the public," he told Sky Sports.

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