Many drivers tested for the Minardi team during the years. There are also a bunch of drivers that should test though did not test with the car for many reasons. As well, there are some unknowns of drivers if they did or did not test. Like Taki Inoue that seemed to have tested with the M195B.Several sources state that he did. Several sources say he didn’t. What to think of Tom Coronel who was to test with the PS04B? Here is an overview of these rumoured and cancelled tests.
John Watson – 1984 Minardi-Alfa Romeo M184
In the early days of Minardi several names were connected with the team. One of these was that from John Watson. For 1984, Watson was without a seat as Mclaren ditched him from the team.
The small Italian team was busy working on their test hack the M184. Fitted with the Alfa Romeo engine, which later would be replaced with the Motori Moderni. Giacomo Caliri offered John Watson to be the first driver to test their first F1 car. Rumours went wild, as it was said that Giancarlo Minardi had offered Watson a seat for next year. Eventually Nannini tested with the M184 in Misano.
Michele Alboreto – 1985 Minardi-Ford M185
As the Motori Moderni engine from Carlos Chiti had development issues and was therefore late. The team appeared the first few races with a M185 fitted with the Ford engine. While Alboreto tested with the M185 powered by the Motori Moderni, there is also info he did with the Ford. However, it is unsure if Alboreto did test it in the Ford configuration.
Michele Alboreto – 1986 Minardi-Motori Moderni M186
While Alboreto drove for Ferrari in the mid 80’s he had tested for Minardi a couple of times. There is some info about him testing with the M186 powered by the Motori Moderni. However, it us unsure if he actually did.
Carlos Menem Jr – 1993 Minardi-Ford M193
Carlos Menem was an interesting choice from Giancarlo to have him to test one of the M193s. Menem Jr. was mostly active in the Rally sport where he had some good results. Eventually in September 1993, an article appears in Autosport stating that Menem is to test with the Minardi. The reason for this? To promote the Argentinian Grand Prix. The story can be read here.
Taki Inoue – 1996 Minardi-Ford M195B
Most of you know that Taki Inoue was to drive for Minardi in 1996. He already signed the contract. He was presented with the team presentation. However, he would not race for the team due to some sponsor that didn’t pay. Therefore, it is unsure if Inoue tested with the M195B prior the start of the season or not. Several sources state that he did. However, there seems to be no concrete info about it for now.
Esteban Tuero – 1998 Minardi-Ford M198
Esteban Tuero was on pole position to race for the team in 1999, and a test was planned for him. However, due to his shunt in Japan the doctors advised him to take some more rest before he would go back into racing. If he would have test for Minardi it would have been with the M198 fitted with several aerodynamic additions for the M01. Probably the test would have happened on Misano.
Esteban Tuero – 1999 Minardi-Ford M01
For January another test was planned for Tuero. This time with the new M01. The test would occur on the Catalunya circuit. Sadly, Esteban Tuero retired only two days before the test from the Formula One. It is still not clear why he retired. Probably his big shunt was one of the reasons.
Jos Verstappen – 1999 Minardi-Ford M01
I can’t clearly remember when the first rumours appeared. It could be in early 1999 or mid-season. There were rumours that Verstappen, while being active for Honda, would test with the M01. It is well known that Minardi was willing to have Verstappen on board as one of their drivers.
Luca Badoer – 2000 Minardi-Ford M02
There are some unclarified stories about Luca Badoer who tested, in secret, the M02 on the circuit of Fiorano and even Misano. However, concrete evidence for the test lacks.
Sergei Zlobin – 2002 Minardi-Asiatech PS02
It is well known that Zlobin tested a couple of times for the Minardi team, during the years. It is unsure if he did test with the PS02. Some say he did some say he did not.
Tom Coronel – 2004 Minardi-Cosworth PS04B
During the pre-season in 2004 it seemed that Tom Coronel would become Minardi’s third driver for the season. When it came close to sign the deal, It became quiet. There were no signs of Coronel with Minardi. During the season there was still some hope for Coronel he would test with the Minardi. It was also promised. However, the test never happened. Read the story here.
Jos Verstappen – 2004 Minardi-Cosworth PS04B
It is unsure how serious this was. There were, back in the day, reports that Verstappen would test for Minardi as he was still in the visor to race for the team. Eventually rumours stretched him replacing Baumgartner or Bruni. Evidence for the test is zero. However, he did drive one of the two-seaters later in the season.