Paul Stoddart, team principal of KL Minardi, has said the team are aiming for points and a top ten finish in the Constructors' Championship for 2002. Minardi, the "other" Italian-based team, have long been stuck with back-of-the-grid status but ...
Paul Stoddart, team principal of KL Minardi, has said the team are aiming for points and a top ten finish in the Constructors' Championship for 2002. Minardi, the "other" Italian-based team, have long been stuck with back-of-the-grid status but Stoddart is determined to stick to his plans.
"We came into this with a five-year plan and we've stuck to it when a lot of people said 'they will tell a good story then they will change.'" He said. "We said Year One was to get professionalism and dignity, we certainly did that. We achieved more than we thought we would achieve, quietly, and this year we're going to get off the bottom of the grid and I think we'll do that. My target is top 10 and two constructors' points and I think we can achieve that."
Stoddart remains positive that Minardi can progress and defended the team, saying by the end of last season they were improving. "Next year , year three, is hopefully a podium and that's where you're really starting to stretch your luck a little bit and you need a little luck. I think we're pretty much on course.People say how can you get excited about qualifying 17th but believe me you can. We had a fantastic year [in 2001]. We achieved every single thing we wanted to do.
Towards the end it was sheer pleasure to know that we were genuinely racing people, we were getting better. I'm really proud of the guys, they did a great job."
Although he is optimistic, Stoddart remains realistic. Work on the car has gone well over the winter but he knows there is more to be done to make the team stronger.
"We've done a lot with the car," he concluded, "an awful lot, over the winter in terms of aero. The engine deal has allowed us to spend a lot of money in other areas where the team needed strengthening throughout this year, things like wind tunnels, R and D centres and all the good stuff that Minardi's always lacked in the past. All we want to do is get out there and compete in the sport of Formula One, knowing full well that we can't compete in the business of Formula One."