Minardi build forces with signing

EUROPEAN MINARDI have continued their development by clinching the signing of former Prost engineer Loic Bigois as their new head of aerodynamics.

Australian Paul Stoddart took over the struggling team before the start of the season and set up a five-year development plan to move them up the field.

An increase and improvement in staffing was first on the agenda, and Bigois is the latest addition in an ever-growing list which also includes familiar Formula One face Jean-Claude Migeot.

Migeot runs the Fondmetal Technologies wind tunnel in Casumaro, near Minardi's Italian base in Faenza, and he will assist Bigois and the team in aerodynamic development.

Minardi technical director Gustav Brunner believes Bigois' arrival will help point the team in the right aerodynamic directions.

"We expect him to play a major role in helping to develop this year's car as well as to lay down the direction for the team's future aerodynamic programs," said Brunner.

"We have said clearly that it is our intention to move the team steadily up the grid over the next few years," he continued. "And it is people like Loic who will play a critical role in helping to make that happen."

He was also pleased that Migeot had decided to help the team, and believes that speaks volumes for the new reputation of Minardi.

"It says much for European Minardi and its prospects that a person of the calibre of Jean-Claude has agreed to assist us," he added.

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