Fighting fund critical to Minardi

Paul Stoddart thinks a steady approach to problem solving in Formula One is needed because there are too many issues to be solved at once. The fighting fund, or rather the lack of it, has been behind Stoddart's recent decision to withdraw his ...

Paul Stoddart thinks a steady approach to problem solving in Formula One is needed because there are too many issues to be solved at once. The fighting fund, or rather the lack of it, has been behind Stoddart's recent decision to withdraw his support of the regulation changes and his threat to have his drivers race at the British Grand Prix with no driver aids. Talks are ongoing and Stoddart hopes progress is being made.

The teams involved in setting up the fund now seem reluctant to make good on the agreement and Stoddart believes it is a problem of politics: "2003 has been a political year behind the scenes," he said in a recent webchat with ITV-F1.

"In fairness to them, people have been looking for global settlement -- all teams on all issues. I don't think they were against the fighting fund, I think we were looking to solve too many issues in one go. We need to take a more steady approach to issues like arbitration and as such, there's not going to be anyone with a magic wand to make everything right."

"It was critical to Minardi doing more than they are doing this year," Stoddart explained of the importance of the fighting fund. "It would enable us to go testing and improve the car and we've already to a degree been walking before we could crawl in doing some development on the car since the Monaco GP which has seen a slightly better car in Canada and last weekend (France)."

Whether Minardi will run at Silverstone with no driver aids is yet to be seen but Stoddart said "things have moved on" since last weekend. "As it stands, I believe all cars will be running equally, both at Silverstone and the rest of the season and all measures proposed for 2004 will go ahead as planned," he commented.

As for his somewhat turbulent relationship with McLaren boss Ron Dennis, Stoddart thinks it's not as bad as it appears to the public: "Ron's ok," he said. "He's got his position and I've got mine. We're trying to run largely different teams. Ron has the championship in sight which I can only dream about. As a result, we're going to have opposing opinions on those issues but despite the public perception of us not getting along, if we have to make a decision we do enough to make sure those decisions are taken."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul Stoddart
Teams McLaren , Minardi