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Last Updated: Monday, 14 February, 2005, 11:27 GMT
Minardi rev up for legal action
Paul Stoddart
Minardi boss Stoddart is determined that his team will survive in F1
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart says he will take motorsport's governing body to court if it bars his Formula One team from the Australian Grand Prix.

Minardi could be stopped from racing by the FIA because they have not changed their cars to meet new regulations.

But Stoddart told Melbourne radio station SEN on Monday: "If that was to happen we would race under protest.

"Were a protest not to be entertained at the track, it certainly would in the Victorian Supreme Court."

Cash-strapped Minardi plan to use an updated version of their 2004 model car for the first three races of the season in Australia, Malaysia and Bahrain.

We've taken some pretty solid legal advice and... it is a case that we know we would win
Paul Stoddart

They then plan to switch to their 2005 cars for the first European race in San Marino, Italy.

Ferrari and Jordan are also starting off the season with last year's cars but have made changes in accordance with the FIA regulations, which include extended engine mileage, limited tyre changes and restricted aerodynamics.

Minardi argue that they cannot afford to build an interim machine, although Stoddart, and all the other teams, voted in favour of the aerodynamic and tyre changes last year.

Minardi were expected to get support from rival teams to run last year's car but Ferrari withheld their backing, meaning both Minardis will technically be illegal when they arrive for scrutineering in Albert Park.

FIA president Max Mosley claims that without unanimous agreement from the other teams he has no power to allow 2004-spec Minardis to race.

Stoddart and Mosley are already locked in a dispute over the way the new rules were imposed.

"We've taken some pretty solid legal advice and, if necessary, we will be asking for injunctive relief to race under protest for a case that we know we would win ultimately," Stoddart said.

"Have no fear, Minardi will be there and they will be competing in the 2005 Australian Grand Prix. For were they (the FIA) to do it (ban Minardi), I suspect that nobody would be competing in the 2005 Grand Prix."

Meanwhile, Minardi will announce their second driver for 2005 on Tuesday, having already signed up Christijan Albers.




SEE ALSO
Talented Albers gets Minardi role
23 Dec 04 |  Formula One
Minardi 'will survive'
29 Oct 04 |  Formula One


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