DECEMBER 7, 2000
Minardi to be sold today?
OUR spies in the United States of America are reporting that a deal is very close for the Minardi team to be sold to an American investment bank. If that happens we believe that both Gabriele Rumi and Giancarlo Minardi will be out of the sport and that an entirely new team will be put together using Minardi's signature of the Concorde Agreement as the foundation for a team which would be based in Britain.
The purchaser would not be in a position to run the team but we understand that Bernie Ecclestone, who is orchestrating the deal, is wanting to create a much stronger organization than Minardi has been and has someone in mind to do the job. The new owners are likely to listen to what the F1 boss has to say rather than trying to do their own thing.
There are a number of possible team principals whom Ecclestone might propose to the new owners. One of them is Martin Brundle, who has been talking quietly in recent months about having an ambition to run his own Formula 1 operation at some point. Brundle is a former World Sportscar Champion who competed in 158 Grands Prix without ever winning one, although his non-F1 victories included the Daytona and Le Mans 24 Hour races. He is a successful businessman and in recent years has been building himself a fine reputation as a broadcaster with ITV's Formula 1 commentary team. In addition to that he has been acting as advisor to David Coulthard and, as president of the British Racing Drivers' Club, has been sorting out the problems over the British GP.
On the other hand, Ecclestone has no shortage of British-owned teams and might like to take the opportunity of a US deal to put together a team with a distinctly American flavor. This would greatly help the development of Formula 1 in the United States of America, which is one of the biggest aims for the sport at the moment.
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