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Minardi close to being sold, says owner

THE Minardi team is close to being sold, said 70% team owner Gabriele Rumi -- but needs to find an engine supplier to tie up a deal.

"We can't continue like this," Rumi said. "A Formula One team can no longer be owned by an individual. It needs to be owned by a company involved in communication, because Formula One is all about communication.

"We are very close to doing a deal but we have to find an engine partner, and there aren't many of those. I can't sell the team without an engine."

Rumi added that he was chasing deals with Mugen-Honda and Renault but Ford have advised the Italian team that it cannot continue to supply parts.

Rumi is believed to be negotiating with PSN, the Miami-based PanAmerican Sport Network which is already a sponsor of the team and sends crews to Grands Prix.

Once the deal is done, Rumi insisted the team would expand, initially with a test team and, later, with an entire new factory.

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