Minardi wheeling and dealing

THE European Minardi team has been flat out in recent weeks, putting together deals for next season. The team has announced a deal with the Motor Club of Argentina (MCA) that will see the team helping young Argentine drivers up the ladder towards F1.

The team has strong links in Argentina, having run Esteban Tuero and Gaston Mazzacane in recent seasons. The deal is part of a bigger scheme which the MCA hopes will bring the country back to the forefront of the sport. Argentina has produced some of the most famous F1 drivers including five-time World Champion Juan-Manuel Fangio and Ferrari's first F1 winner Froilan Gonzalez. In the 1970s Carlos Reutemann took up the challenge but since his retirement the country has struggled to have any regular F1 runners and the Grand Prix, which used to be a solid fixture on the F1 calendar has faded away, leaving Brazil as South America's only race.

European Minardi is also having a series of top-level meetings in Malaysia and it is expected that a group of government officials from the country will be Minardi guests in Japan. The team already has backing from the country's national lottery Magnum but is looking for more sponsorship to help the team move forward up the F1 grid.

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