Stoddart threatens to cause problems

Stoddart threatens to cause problems

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart could upset the tenuous peace in F1 by threatening to withdraw his agreement to the use of traction control. Stoddart originally agreed to it in return for the engine manufacturers promising to supply cheaper engines,...

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart could upset the tenuous peace in F1 by threatening to withdraw his agreement to the use of traction control. Stoddart originally agreed to it in return for the engine manufacturers promising to supply cheaper engines, but since the deal appears to be unforthcoming, the Australian is ready to cause trouble.

Paul Stoddart.
Photo by Minardi Formula 1.
"Our engine budget runs into millions of dollars, but the agreement made with the manufacturers to supply power at an affordable cost would have seen us make some substantial savings," Stoddart told the British press. "A solid commitment by the manufacturers was made on 29 April to cut engine costs in return for myself and Jordan agreeing the continued use of traction control."

"But, so far, nothing has happened. Unless something is forthcoming, and the promises made are honoured, I will withdraw my vote on traction control. That will cause them major problems."

"Ron Dennis (McLaren boss) told me it would cost the big teams tens of millions of dollars in design and development if traction control was withdrawn. I voted it through in the belief that manufacturers would help us cut engine bill costs. But they appear to have had a memory loss -- and that's not the way to do business."

Stoddart threatened similar action prior to last year's British Grand Prix when he said the Minardi drivers would race without driver aids, which could have given him grounds to protest other teams using them. Again, it was the lack of cheaper engines, amongst other things, that Stoddart was making a stand about.

The Minardi boss called off the threat after hasty discussions with other teams produced a compromise over finances but the engine argument was never resolved. Launch control and automatic gearboxes are now banned for this season but traction control was voted to be allowed. However, it needs the unanimous agreement of all the teams.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul Stoddart
Teams McLaren , Minardi , Jordan