Recent speculation has it that Minardi may not be able to compete in Melbourne due to its cars not confirming to the 2005 regulations, but principal Paul Stoddart said his team will race. Minardi intends to start the 2005 season with last year's...
Recent speculation has it that Minardi may not be able to compete in Melbourne due to its cars not confirming to the 2005 regulations, but principal Paul Stoddart said his team will race. Minardi intends to start the 2005 season with last year's PS04B, rather than an interim chassis, and introduce its new car after Bahrain. However, the PS04B has not been adapted to the new regulations due to Minardi's financial shortfall.
FIA president Max Mosley said last week that a prior agreement with the other nine teams would have to be in place in order for Minardi to use the PS04B. Stoddart has confirmed that Ferrari is the only team objecting. The basis of Stoddart's argument for using last year's car is that the way the new rules were introduced was not procedurally correct and therefore the 2004 regulations are still legal.
Speaking to Melbourne's SEN radio, he said: "It's a lot more complicated than perhaps it's been made to sound on some of the websites, but the simple version goes something like this: the 2005 regulations that were brought in last year under a very interesting safety clause within our governing agreement which didn't have the support of the teams and was procedurally flawed in the way it was brought in, have left the teams not really knowing what regulations they're racing to in 2005."
"It's my belief, and that belief is backed up by some pretty solid legal advice, that the 2004 regulations are still in force. As such, we've elected not to waste a lot of money that a team like Minardi can ill afford to do by doing an interim car, as it's called, that may be raced to 2005 regulations, maybe if they're legal."
"We are going to stand by, as I said, some very solid legal advice that the 2004 regulations are still in full force and effect, and we will be racing our 2004 cars legally in Melbourne, Malaysia and Bahrain. After that, we are introducing our 2005 car."
Minardi is expected to make a driver announcement on Tuesday and Austrian Patrick Friesacher is thought to be joining the team. It's not certain if Friesacher is in line for a race seat or a test role -- former Minardi racer Nicolas Kiesa was favourite for the second seat alongside Christijan Albers but has reportedly run into financial problems.