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Last Updated: Friday, 2 September 2005, 19:39 GMT 20:39 UK
Irvine in talks over Minardi sale
Former Formula One driver Eddie Irvine
Irvine has been to visit Minardi's Italian-based factory in Faenza
Former Formula One driver Eddie Irvine is holding talks with Minardi chief Paul Stoddart about the possible takeover of his team.

Irvine, who retired three years ago, is negotiating on behalf of Russian vodka and banking magnate Roustam Tariko.

"We are talking to Irvine," confirmed Stoddart, whose team is the smallest and most under-funded in the sport.

"But it's a long way away from being a deal and it may be that, like so many others, it just disappears."

The Australian multi-millionaire revealed he had had as many as 41 approaches from potential buyers.

However, Stoddart insists he will only sell the outfit he took over since 2001 if it is for the future good of the team.

"I have always said the team would always be sold if I found someone who would take the team further than I could," said Stoddart.

"If they could do a better job, have the funds to do it and leave the team based in Italy.

"If one of the several people who are talking to us right now fulfil those criteria, then the team may be sold."

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