Norberto Fontana could return to the F1 fray next season, following a successful test with the Minardi team.

The young Argentine first tasted life in the sport's highest echelon as a substitute with Sauber in 1997, but failed to leave a lasting impression, and has since found himself contesting the FNippon and F3000 series. However, with Minardi's prime sponsor, Telefonica, requiring a South American to pilot the team's second car, Fontana found himself up against fellow F3000 competitor Max Wilson in a shootout at Jerez last week.

Although both drivers were evenly matched for pace, Minardi were apparently swayed by Fontana's professionalism in and out of the car. As a result, he looks likely to line up alongside Spaniard Marc Gene in Melbourne next March.