Will Ecclestone provide Minardi stability?

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is thankful for Bernie Ecclestone's investment into the team and believes it provides stability for the future. The Canadian Grand Prix weekend was a difficult one for Minardi, with Stoddart withdrawing his support of...

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is thankful for Bernie Ecclestone's investment into the team and believes it provides stability for the future. The Canadian Grand Prix weekend was a difficult one for Minardi, with Stoddart withdrawing his support of the new rules due to financial agreements with manufacturer backed teams not coming to fruition.

There followed a rather heated debate with McLaren's Ron Dennis in the Friday press conference but on Saturday Ecclestone stepped into the fray and invested in Minardi out of his own pocket. For the moment, at least, Minardi now has the cash to keep battling on.

"I am pleased to announce that Bernie Ecclestone has made a private investment in Minardi, which will provide stability, and with it, the chance to move the team forward," Stoddart said. "On a personal note, it has been a roller coaster weekend for Minardi, and it's great to see that when the chips are down, the man who built the sport up to what it is today really does care. The responsibility now falls to me to ensure he has made a wise investment."

It has been speculated that Ecclestone's interest in the team was merely to sell his stake on to other investors to secure a quick profit. BAR's David Richards doesn't think Ecclestone is intending to become involved in running a team: "I would suspect that there is someone waiting in the wings there to purchase the team," he commented.

"Bernie has obviously got a plan himself. I suspect that we will find a solution for the engines and in an economic engine environment and a different set of circumstances Minardi could be a profitable venture."

Stoddart, however, is sure Ecclestone isn't planning on a profit-making scheme: "Any shareholder can sell their shareholding but that has not been discussed with me," he said. "I don't believe that is the game plan. What the game plan is, is to see that Formula One has the stability of ten teams and ten competitive teams, and this is a great thing for the sport."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul Stoddart , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams McLaren , Minardi