Stoddart says the Minardi PS04 is ready

Paul Stoddart (right), Italian GP 2003

Paul Stoddart (right), Italian GP 2003 

 © The Cahier Archive

Paul Stoddart says that his 2004 Formula 1 car has already had its first shakedown runs! Nicolas Kiesa gave the PS04 its first run at the Santa Pod drag strip in England last week. Kiesa was impressed by the performance of the car in comparison to the existing PS03.

The new car is, of course, a revised version of the Arrows A23. Stoddart bought five of the cars and all the spares earlier this year and his engineers have been working on the cars in recent months to develop them for use in 2004. The cars will be properly tested next week and if all goes well they will be the machines used next year.

Minardi is currently in talks with no fewer than five drivers with big budgets for next year and although the future of the team hangs on the agreement between the GPWC and the banks which control SLEC, which will increase the TV money for Minardi by about $10m and bring down the engine costs, there are still fears about the future, despite the fact that at Monza Stoddart was able to point out that eight of the 20 drivers were former Minardi men.

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