FEBRUARY 29, 2004
Stoddart wants cash (again)
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart is once again complaining that engine bills have not been reduced to the $10m which was accepted as a limit for what were called "affordable engines" and says that he will withdraw his vote in favour of keeping traction-control unless the engine manufacturers honour their promise of providing him with cheap F1 engines. The FIA president Max Mosley said recently that the FIA would need time if there was to be a ban on traction control because the policing of systems would be so difficult.
Stoddart says that the manufacturers made a solid commitment to help the small teams on April 29 last year in exchange for Jordan and Minardi withdrawing their objections to traction-control. Stoddart says that nearly a year later nothing has happened.
Several teams have indicated that their 2004 engines will not run without traction-control system as they have become an integral part of the system.
"I voted it through in the belief that manufacturers would help us cut engine bill costs," Stoddart said. "They appear to have had a memory loss and that's not the way to do business. This isn't me whining or about our survival. We have our finances in place but, if we have to continue paying an extortionate amount for the engines, there's no money left to develop our cars."
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