NOVEMBER 6, 2000
The future of Minardi
The delay over engines is not simply down to money. The team was bought recently by the PanAmerican Sports Network and it is inconceivable that this organization, which owns the satellite television rights for South America, is not going to fund the team. It is owned by the huge American venture capitalist company Hicks, Muse, Tate and Furst and the firm has very clear objectives to use Formula 1 as a way of promoting its South American electronic communications activities prior to floating the company.
The delay in announcing an engine deal is believed to be because Minardi is not very keen on running Supertec engines (which are readily available) and would prefer to get its hands on a supply of Mugen Honda engines. The Mugen company wants to continue to be involved in Formula 1, but Honda says that it is not interested in supplying the units as it is going to be concentrating all its efforts on supplying factory V10s to British American Racing and Jordan. The only possible compromise, and one which Mugen appears to be working towards, is for the old Honda engines to be handed over completely to Mugen and badged differently so that if they do beat the Honda engines on occasion it will not be obvious to the public at large.