European Minardi to be fifth Michelin-shod team

EUROPEAN MINARDI will become the fifth Formula One team to sign a deal to run on Michelin tires for the 2001, owner Paul Stoddart has confirmed.

Stoddart, who secured the future of the Faenza-based team when he purchased a majority stake, said that the team will be supplied by Michelin and added they will have a new engine deal by the middle of the year.

"Final negotiations are being completed with Michelin," Stoddart said. "By the middle of the year we should also be able to announce our engine deal for next year."

Stoddart has named young Spaniard Fernando Alonso as one of his drivers and is currently in discussions to add an experienced name to his line-up, with Gianni Morbidelli linked with the post.

"Morbidelli is a good respectable driver," he added. "He's quite fit now which is paramount in Formula One and he's also a veteran of 65 to 70 Grands Prix."

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