Minardi deal with Cosworth close

The European Minardi team is expected to sign an engine supply deal with Cosworth Racing this week, despite the fact that the costs of the deal will make it even tougher for the team to break even in 2003. Minardi is still struggling to put together a full budget for 2003 with the latest word from Malaysia being that the local government is thinking twice about continuing its support if Alex Yoong is not part of the driver line-up. Yoong will definitely not be driving for the team again having had a very disappointing season.

The switch to Cosworth should improve the performance of the team which was handicappedc considerably this year by the lack of performance from the Asiatech V10 engines. The Minardi chassis seems to be quite an efficient one in terms of aerodynamics and so the overall package should make it easier for the team to produce some good performances, particularly if the right drivers are in the car. At the moment the men most likely to be seen in the cars next year are Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson, but both drives are dependent on money and that is difficult to find at the moment.

The team will use European V10 engines in the tests which will take place in the course of the next few weeks. These will be fitted with 2002 parts so that the team can develop the chassis and other auxiliaries but it is unlikely that there were will be any Cosworth tests until the 2003 car is ready.

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