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Minardi situation still unclear 03 Mar 2005

The new Minardi.
Minardi Launch, Formula One World Championship, Rd1, Australian Grand Prix, Preparations, Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia, 3 March 2005

Team still hoping to race 'illegal' 2004 car

As of Thursday evening in Melbourne confusion continued concerning Minardi’s participation in Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix. The team want to run their 2004 car, but it remains unclear whether they have the required agreement from their rivals to do so.

Minardi claim they have been unable to meet the 2005 regulation changes in time for the season’s opening round. However, given the modest pace of their 2004 machine, boss Paul Stoddart had predicted no objections from the other teams to his running the old car.

On Thursday Stoddart said that his cars had passed the necessary FIA safety checks, but that he had yet to secure approval to run. Without that approval from the other teams, the Minardi machines will be deemed illegal and barred from the race.

Minardi’s only option then would be to make some rapid changes to the car to bring it in line with regulations. The team are believed to have a 2005-spec aero package with them in Melbourne, but it is, as yet, untested.