NOVEMBER 11, 1996

Minardi confirms Hart

GIANCARLO MINARDI has confirmed that the Minardi team will be using Brian Hart's V8 engines next season. The announcement is a big disappointment for Minardi who had hoped that a new alliance with Flavio Briatore would land the team a supply of Mugen Honda V10 engines.

It was the possibility of such a deal which convinced Minardi to ally himself with Briatore, who became the leading shareholder in the small Italian team.

A Hart deal is a marriage of convenience as the Minardi team needed engines and Hart was without a team to supply - having been dumped by TWR Arrows - but there seems to be little enthusiasm on either side for the new alliance.

Ironically, Minardi has been struggling to find a competitive engine since a deal he signed with Mugen Honda in the autumn of 1994 was canceled after Briatore managed to convince Mugen to break the contract and supply Ligier - which Briatore owned - instead. This left Minardi in enormous difficulty in 1995, using Ford V8 engines. Without any results that year Minardi had no choice but to stay with the same engines this year.