Minardi situation still unclear 03 Mar 2005
Team still hoping to race 'illegal' 2004 car
As of Thursday evening in Melbourne confusion continued concerning Minardis participation in Sundays 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 seasons 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.
Minardis 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.