Minardi parts company with title sponsor 29 Jul 2004
Minardi boss Paul Stoddard has been quick to play down the significance of the joint decision of his team and Wilux, a Dutch bathroom manufacturer, to end their sponsorship agreement with immediate effect.
Wilux, who are based in the Netherlands, joined Minardi at the start of the 2004 season. Disagreement between the two parties came to a head when Minardi decided to run without sponsorship at the British Grand Prix. Instead its cars carried the simple message 'JOHN BOY' in tribute to the team's sporting director, John Walton, who had died just before the race took place.
Minardi released a statement explaining the situation:
"Due to irreconcilable differences concerning, among other things, the decision by Minardi to run without sponsorship livery in the 2004 British Grand Prix and the decision by Wilux not to adhere to contractual payments, sadly, the sponsorship agreement between Wilux and Minardi has been terminated today. The Team wishes Wilux every success in the future."
And team chief Paul Stoddard has been quick to play down the significance of the decision.
"It's just annoying," he said, "it is not going to put the team under financial pressure."