JUNE 7, 2002
Who is Jirko Malcharek?
MINARDI's new test driver Jirko Malcharek is a member of the Slovakian parliament, a sports commentator and the founder of an organization which is battling against drugs in sport. His involvement with Minardi is thus to be seen not so much as a testing role but rather as a useful way for him to promote himself. Having said that, as Paul Stoddart himself argues, when one is doing aerodynamic testing one does not want an impatient hotshoe but rather a more sedate and sensible driver willing to run up and down time and time again to ensure that the data is correct. Stoddart himself did aerodynamic mapping work for Arrows before he became involved with Minardi.
However there is no disguising the fact that Malcharek, a midfield touring car driver in international terms, is paying the team a healthy sum for the association. Given the situation one might argue that it is not such a bad thing. Malcharek is a danger to no-one and is benefiting from the association with F1. And the team is benefiting from him.
It is not very different to vanity publishing...
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