Minardi chairman Rumi bows out of Formula One after sell-out

MINARDI chairman Gabriele Rumi has bid a tearful farewell to Formula One after the buyout of his 70 per cent stake in the Italian team by the South American Pan American Sport Network International (PSN) cable and satellite broadcasting company.

Rumi, 61, who has been involved in Minardi management since 1996, declared that he had enjoyed a splendid period in grand prix racing but that he wanted to put the entire period behind him.

"The United States Grand Prix was my final race, from now on I don't want anything to do with Formula One," said Rumi. "I even hope I'll never watch it again on TV because it will be too distressing for me.

"This is a really sad moment, but it's a matter of giving a future to the team and a powerful partner is required. I have done everything for Minardi, but Formula One now requires massive investments that only major industrial groups can provide.

"I have not lost money on my investment, I've recovered everything I put into Minardi and over the years I've learnt a lot, but starting from now I don't want anything more to with Formula One."

The Faenza-based team, which has succeeded in securing Supertec engines for 2001, will remain in Italy and under the control of Gian Carlo Minardi but is now under the ownership of the Argentine company PSN, based in Miami, Florida.

PSN, which owns most of the television rights for Formula One in central and Latin America, is also a shareholder in Minardi's Spanish sponsor Telefonica, who has also been a minor backer of the team this year.

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