AUGUST 3, 2002

Two bidders in Minardi negotiations

Although there have been many reports that Minardi is about to be sold to Prince Al Waleed to be run by Brendan McGuinness, it is worth noting that there is another consortium discussing the purchase with Paul Stoddart - and at the moment this is looking more serious than the bid from Saudi Arabia.

It is not entirely clear who the people involved are but we hear that two are British businessmen and the third is from Eastern Europe. The trio were guests of the team at the recent German Grand Prix and are believed to be interested in investing in the team but leaving the operation being run in its current from.

The Saudi Arabian bid, if it happens, would see McGuinness taking over from Stoddart (who would stand down). McGuinness knows the team's sporting director John Walton from the days when he was negotiating buying into Prost Grand Prix, where Walton had a similar job before he moved to Minardi.