Through the archives: March 3rd, 2005

    Director of Operations

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    Through the archives: March 3rd, 2005

    Post by Ross on 7th April 2009, 17:26

    I thought I'd try out something interesting, since I found a way of reverting websites back to how they were so many years ago. I reverted ITV's Formula 1 website back to 2005, and found a particularly intriguing article on Minardi's demise in Formula 1.

    I feel this was the last example we truly saw of when Formula 1 was a democracy rather than a dictatorship:


    Minardi boss Paul Stoddart claims that Ferrari stands in the way of his team competing in the Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

    The F1 minnows had planned to start the season with its 2004 car, claiming that it had not enough time and money to build chassis around the new regulations before the start of the season.

    But it needs approval from all of the other nine teams to compete.

    Eight teams have given their consent to the perennial backmarkers, but Ferrari will not budge according to Stoddart.

    “I spoke to (Ferrari sporting director Jean) Todt during the night, but he wasn't supportive at all," he said.

    "Todt kept saying it's an FIA problem although Max Mosley has gone on the record and said if we could got Ferrari's signature then we can race. I tried to explain that to him rationally.

    “I asked him to delegate the powers to some other member of Ferrari who was actually in Melbourne so we could at least have the discussion.

    "He refused, and the phone call came to an end without a conclusion."

    This comes as the battle for F1's future rages on behind the scenes.

    Ferrari, which has commited its future to Formula 1, is firmly entrenched alongside the FIA and Bernie Ecclestone on one side, while Stoddart has been a vocal supporter of cost cuts through a limit on testing.

    He won support for his plans from all of the other teams (many of which are involved in plan to start a rival series in 2008), but Ferrari, which has its own test track at its Fiorano HQ, has never agreed with the proposals.

    As Wednesdsay night fell on Melbourne, Stoddart had just one evening left to win approval from Ferrari before scrutineering begins for the Australian Grand Prix.

    Minardi claims it could not have built a new car in time for Melbourne, because Cosworth - bought by a private consortium from Ford last year – did not commit itself to the PS05 project in time.

    "We received notice that Ford was withdrawing from F1 and putting its operations up for sale in September last year, and so we put off building our new car," said Stoddart.

    "Because of Cosworth and the regulations which were signed off late, we cannot be ready before Imola. The lead-time on our bell housings alone is 16 weeks. That's four months."

    Stoddart hinted that he could take legal action to resolve the issue after Melbourne, but the Australian said he does not want to race under appeal and sour the 10th anniversary celebrations of the event.

    "As a last resort, and I mean last resort, there is always the option of the High Court to challenge the legality of the regulations," he said.

    "But on this, the 10th anniversary of the Melbourne Grand Prix, the one I love the most, I would not want to be the one to spoil the party."

    Director of Operations

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