Minardi drops legal action

After a Court granted Minardi a temporary injunction so the drivers could take part in Saturday's practice sessions and qualifying in Melbourne, the team has now dropped its legal action and has converted its cars to conform to the 2005 specs.

After a Court granted Minardi a temporary injunction so the drivers could take part in Saturday's practice sessions and qualifying in Melbourne, the team has now dropped its legal action and has converted its cars to conform to the 2005 specs. Minardi spent the night working on the cars to meet the aerodynamic requirements of this year's regulations.

"After a lengthy series of meetings that finished roughly around midnight last night, in the interests of the Australian Grand Prix which has been embroiled in this battle together with the interests of Formula One as a sport, we have decided to discontinue the action," said Minardi boss Paul Stoddart.

"We've taken it as far as we needed to take it and throughout the night we've managed to convert two of the cars to 2005 specifications and we will be running. As far as we are concerned the matter is over."

Stoddart has been accused of stage-managinging the whole affair to get Minardi publicity but he denied that was the case. The team already has bodywork that meets the 2005 regulations but was not keen to use it as the parts are mostly untested and there are no spares in case of damage.

Despite that, the modifications were made and Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher were on track for the first Saturday practice session in the reworked chassis. It was the first time the drivers had been out, as Minardi was prohibited from taking part in the Friday sessions.

While the other teams said they would not protest Minardi running its 2004 cars, some admitted that they were not happy to be involved in a matter that they believed the FIA should be handling. The stewards' decision to disallow the Minardis was greeted by some as the right one.

Even with the injunction it was not certain that Stoddart's cars would be able to race on Sunday and another hearing was scheduled for today. However, the matter now appears to have been settled.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Christijan Albers , Patrick Friesacher
Teams Minardi