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Minardi race for peace 23 Mar 2003

"Malaysia for Peace" branding on the side of the Minardi PS03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race Day, Sepang, Malaysia, 23 March 2003

The Gulf War has very much been on people's minds here in Sepang this weekend, and signs at the entry to the circuit on race day bore the message 'Malaysia for Peace' to back up a similar campaign in the region's influential New Straits Times all through the week.

Minardi team boss Paul Stoddart also embraced the ideas, and on race morning the PS03s were adorned with the 'Malaysia for Peace' logos after Stoddart had run the idea by Bernie Ecclestone having failed to establish contact with Max Mosley.

"Malaysia is looking to give a message to the world," Stoddart said. "This is a message from Malaysia. Everyone has a right to their own opinion and this should not be mistaken from a statement by anyone at Minardi or in Formula One about being anti-war."

Mosley said: "Formula One is a generally international sport welcomed by a wide range of cultures around the world. Our sport has nothing whatsoever to do with the conflict in Iraq and the FIA fully supports the local organisers of the Malaysian Grand Prix in running this event in the usual way."

Some factions at the meeting tried to organise petitions to have the usual jet fighter plane displays cancelled, and further peace demonstrations are expected.