Stoddart interested in Russian investment

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, who recently bought UK's Chelsea football club, is reportedly turning his sights to Formula One and Minardi boss Paul Stoddart would be happy to talk finances with the tycoon. Abramovich is worth an estimated...

Russian businessman Roman Abramovich, who recently bought UK's Chelsea football club, is reportedly turning his sights to Formula One and Minardi boss Paul Stoddart would be happy to talk finances with the tycoon. Abramovich is worth an estimated £3.5 billion and recently spent some time with Minardi at the European Grand Prix.

"We need someone who can put proper funding into the team," Stoddart told the British press. "Minardi may be at the back of the grid at the moment but the only thing which has ever stopped us progressing is the lack of cash."

"I met Abramovich at the European Grand Prix and found him a charming person. He spent a lot of time in our garage and we arranged for his young son to sit in the cockpit of our car while mechanics did a practice pit-stop. We spoke about F1 and he appeared to have a real interest in the sport."

This weekend in Hungary, the little Faenza squad will be celebrating its 300th Grand Prix. Minardi emerged in 1985 and while it has always struggled for results, it has a reputation as bringing on drivers. Giancarlo Fisichella, Jarno Trulli, Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber and, most recently, Justin Wilson all started with Minardi.

The team had a supposed deal with Russian investors once already -- gas giant Gazprom was lined up as a sponsor but the deal fell through. As for Bernie Ecclestone's investment in Minardi, rumour has it the cash is yet to be forthcoming.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Mark Webber , Justin Wilson , Fernando Alonso , Paul Stoddart , Bernie Ecclestone
Teams Minardi