NOVEMBER 16, 2004
Stoddart and the flying Dutchmen
The idea of an all-Dutch team at Minardi is nothing new. It has been floating around since the summer - but that does not mean it is going to happen. It is all a question of money and if the three Dutch drivers being mentioned: veteran Jos Verstappen, Christjian Albers and Robert Doornbos can come up with the backing from companies such as Trust then they will be well-positioned to get the drive. But Stoddart is not working on promises alone. The money has got to be in the bank before he signs anyone and as happened last year it will be a question of first-come, first-served.
Stoddart says that the team is talking to a whole bunch of drivers and will test a handful in the weeks ahead but when it comes done to signing deals it will be the man with the most money who gets the job - unless the team lands a major sponsor which will give him the freedom to choose his drivers. This is always possible but remains unlikely as there is always competition for money and some of the bigger teams can lure sponsors away.
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