JANUARY 21, 2005

Who will get the second Minardi?

The second Minardi is still up for grabs and team boss Paul Stoddart has made no secret of the fact that the drive will go to the man who brings the most money with him to the negotiating table. Stoddart would love to be in a position to run the best driver but he cannot afford to turn away a bigger budget. The good news for Stoddart is that several useful drivers seem to have money to spend. Nicolas Kiesa, who drove for Minardi at the end of 2003, is pulling together all the money he can find while Gianmaria Bruni, although a big disappointment last year, could end up with more cash than anyone else. It seems that Zsolt Baumgartner is not really in the picture and the latest word is that Zsolt is busy trying to do a deal with Jordan, where two seats are available. However the competition is strong with Timo Glock having a big budget behind him and Robert Doornbos the favourite for the other seat. There are other drivers who would like to be under consideration for the drive but have not go the kind of money that is now needed.

We hear that a Minardi drive next year will cost around $8m.