Stoddart calls off Silverstone threat

As if we didn't expect it, Paul Stoddart has called off his threat for the Minardi drivers to race at Silverstone without driver aids, therefore giving him an opportunity to protest other teams using them. Hasty team meetings have reportedly ...

As if we didn't expect it, Paul Stoddart has called off his threat for the Minardi drivers to race at Silverstone without driver aids, therefore giving him an opportunity to protest other teams using them. Hasty team meetings have reportedly guaranteed the argumentative Australian somewhere in the region of £5 million, the fighting fund that has caused so much controversy recently.

"Silverstone is 100% guaranteed safe from protest," said Stoddart. "What we have effectively done is adopted the rules for the rest of the year and they will stay that way for 2004 as well. Clearly with a championship as close as this one is, we don't want any controversy, we want each race to take its own course and see the year out."

Stoddart was protesting the lack of support from other teams; the fighting fund was set up on a verbal agreement but it never materialized. With his protest about Silverstone, the Minardi boss could have caused havoc and in theory the rest of the teams could have been disqualified for using driver aids.

However, unsurprisingly, the teams have rallied round and dished out the cash rather than have their toys taken away. "We've had some contribution and, as everything always is, it's a compromise," said Stoddart. "We've effectively agreed to agree for the remainder of 2003. I think we can safely say that for the rest of the year the fighting will all be done on the track, which is where it should be."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi