Minardi in trouble for using old cars - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Minardi in trouble for using old cars

14/02/2005 06:12:20 AM Comments (0)

Australian-owned Formula One team Minardi is risking exclusion from the Australian Grand Prix, the opening round of the world championship in Melbourne in less than three weeks.

Max Mosley, the president of motor sports governing body, the Federation Internationale de Automobile (FIA), has suggested Minardi may be refused a start because of its intention to field 2004 cars.

Minardi intends to run updated versions of last year's cars, complying with the latest safety standards although not completely with the latest technical regulations.

All other F1 teams except Ferrari have supported Minardi running the older cars until the first European GP, the fourth round of the championship.

The controversy is the latest round in a running feud between Mosley and Stoddart which has prompted suggestions the Australian may even challenge the powerful Englishman for the FIA presidency when he comes up for re-election later this year.

"We believe the cars will be running (in Melbourne on March 6) to legal regulations," Stoddart said in England.

"If Ferrari and the FIA wish to make an issue of this then it is up to them."

Mosley said: "If there was no prior agreement and Minardi presented to us the 2004 car, that would be illegal under the current regulations.

"So the scrutineers would not put a sticker on it and it would never go out of the pit lane in Australia. Stoddart disagrees: "We say the cars do comply and if the scrutineers say no then we would protest and I would be surprised if we were not allowed to race under protest."

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