Minardi resort to Avon tyres

Minardi was all set to take to the track for its first test session of the year at Valencia this week until a slight problem arose: no tyres. Minardi is hoping for a deal with Bridgestone this season, but has yet to finalize and has dropped its ...

Minardi was all set to take to the track for its first test session of the year at Valencia this week until a slight problem arose: no tyres. Minardi is hoping for a deal with Bridgestone this season, but has yet to finalize and has dropped its partnership with Michelin, which left the team without any rubber to run on.

Eventually, Juston Wilson made it out onto the circuit in the last season Minardi chassis-- complete with a set of Avon F3000 slick tyres. Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has reportedly been in talks with Bridgestone for some months but the deal is dragging out. According to a team spokesman, neither Michelin or Bridgestone were willing to help Minardi out and the Avons were the only alternative.

The two tyre manufacturers are now obliged to supply half the grid if need be and a spokesperson confirmed that Bridgestone is in talks with Minardi: "We have received a request to supply Minardi and talks are taking place. As yet a contract has not been agreed and it is not possible for anyone to run on tyres that have not been signed for."

The Avon tyres are far different from F1 tyres but for the moment they suffice. With Wilson and Jos Verstappen only just settling into the team, for this week Minardi are not losing out too much.

"It was thoughtful of Avon to supply us with tyres - and they are good tyres," Stoddart told Autosport. "This is Avon helping Minardi out. The purpose of this test was the familiarisation of Justin and of Jos, who's been out of an F1 car for over a year, with an F1 car, so the tyre choice was not crucial. I am convinced that Bridgestone is the right choice for us and I hope that this will be resolved soon."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi