SEPTEMBER 25, 2004

Stoddart asks for 2005 exemption

Paul Stoddart has asked the FIA and other F1 eams to consider granting the Minardi team an exemption from building a new car next year because it will make no difference at all to the grid order. Stoddart has backed up his request with statistics that show that on average the team is five seconds a lap slower in qualifying that the pole time and Max Mosley has asked teams to reduce performance by three seconds a lap. Stoddart argues that even with the 2004 cars his cars will still be at the back of the grid and it makes no sense at all to force Minardi to build new cars and allow the team time to regroup and get prepared for 2006. Stoddart is believed to have got some support from other team owners but what sounds like an eminently sensible idea is unlikely to be accepted.

Stoddart says that the move can be justified by force majeure because the sudden withdrawal of an engine manufacturer is a case of force majeure.