Jos Verstappen and Allan McNish, both seemingly out of favour with the F1 establishment at the end of last year, have secured drives with Minardi and Renault for 2003.

Jos Verstappen and Allan McNish, both seemingly out of favour with the F1 establishment at the end of last year, have secured drives with Minardi and Renault for 2003.

Minardi boss, Australian Paul Stoaddart, announced this week that Dutch veteran Jos Verstappen will team up with young Briton Justin Wilson at the Faenza-based squad this season.

Verstappen is said to have secured notable sponsorship for the team by virtue of his drive. The Dutchman will return to F1 for the first time since he drove for the Arrows team in 2001.

“I am very pleased to be back in F1," said Verstappen. "Minardi builds good cars and is a strong little team that has only been prevented from achieving its full potential over the years by a lack of sponsorship.

"I am really impressed with Paul Stoddart's plans for the team and by this year's technical package, which looks strong to me."

Stoddart believes that the pairing of Verstappen and Wilson, along with the Cosworth engine the team will use this season, will lead the team to success this season.

"The combination of Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson will, I believe, give Minardi the strongest driver line-up in its history," Stoddart told . "The two of them will provide just the right level of youth and experience, and combined with an effective chassis and Cosworth Racing's powerful CR3 engine, we will definitely have a much stronger package in 2003.

Briton Allan McNish, who was summarily dropped from the Toyota team after his debut season in F1 this year, was confirmed as Renault's test driver on Thursday.

Both McNish, who was a test driver for McLaren in the early ‘Nineties, and Frenchman Franck Montagny have been announced as Renault's F1 test drivers for this year, but the Scot will conduct the majority of the duties. The former Toyota driver will appear at every grand prix weekend for two hours on Friday, before handing the cars over to drivers Jarno Trulli and Fernando Alonso.

"It is important for me to continue at a high level," said McNish. "It would have been disappointing to walk away after one season. It's a good situation - it's high profile. Because of the Friday testing I will still be in the shop window."

The one-year deal would allow McNish to return to racing in F1 next year, if he is able to secure a drive. "You never know what is going to happen," he said. "I displayed last year what I could do in an F1 car and hopefully I can prove that again this year. You can't guarantee anything but this is a very good opportunity."

Original article from Car