Gabriele Rumi, the chariman, CEO and majority shareholder of Minardi Team, has sold his 70% holdings in the Formula One team to Pan American Sports Network International (PSN), a Latin American cable and satellite company. PSN, which is based in...
Gabriele Rumi, the chariman, CEO and majority shareholder of Minardi Team, has sold his 70% holdings in the Formula One team to Pan American Sports Network International (PSN), a Latin American cable and satellite company.
PSN, which is based in the United States, owns most of the F1 television rights in Central America and South America. It is also a minority shareholder in the Spanish telecoms company Telefonica, which has provided some sponsorship to the team this year.
"It is a matter of giving a future to the team, and a powerful partner is required," Rumi explained. "I have done everything [I could] for Minardi, but F1 now requires massive investments that only a major industrial group can provide."
Team founder Gian Carlo Minardi, who turned 53 last week, will remain with the team and in responsible for the team's operations. Minardi formed the team in 1980, and entered Formula One in 1985 after four successful seasons in F2.
Rumi, 61, is the owner of Fondmetal, and was a longtime supplier of wheels to Formula One, and, between 1990 and 1992, the owner of the Osella F1 team. Fondmetal began sponsoring Minardi in 1996, and Rumi purchased his 70% interest in the team the following year from Flavio Briatore.
"The United States GP was my final race," said Rumi. "From now on, I don't want anything to do with Formula One. I even hope I'll never watch it on TV, because it will be too distressing for me."
The chronically underfunded team has struggled again in the 2000 season, and its drivers, Marc Gene and Gaston Mazzacane, have yet to score a championship point this year.
For 2001, however, Minardi has secured Supertec engines to replace its current underpowered Ford units. Throughout its F1 history, Minardi has also run engines from Ferrari, Lamborghini, Motori Moderni and Hart.