JUNE 4, 2002
Two years ago...
IN June 2000 the late Gabriele Rumi, the boss of the Minardi F1 team, openly admitted that he wanted to sell the team because, he said, "Formula 1 has changed and to compete we now need a partner. Our aim is to be competitive, not survive with problems, and we can't do that by ourself."
At the time there was no recession and Formula 1 was awash with money from bigger and bigger corporations and financial companies. At the time Rumi was negotiating to sell the team to the Spanish telephone company Telefonica. That deal never happened and early in 2001 Rumi sold the team to Paul Stoddart.
Eighteen months later all the teams involved in F1 then are still going except for Prost Grand Prix. Some of the F1 team bosses have been echoing the words of Rumi in recent months and more than one has remarked that continuing to compete in F1 does not make financial sense.
There have been rumors in recent days that the Canadian GP may be the last race for one or perhaps even two teams but let us not forget that most of the F1 team bosses are born fighters and do not give up that easily...
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