View Full Version : minardi niet langer europees

08-12-2001, 12:28
Minardi drops European tag.

Minardi will race under the KL Minardi Asiatech banner in next year's Formula One world championship, following a name change to reflect its growing Malaysian links.

The Italian minnow first attracted backing from the Far East country when it agreed to sign Alex Yoong in place of Tarso Marques for the final three races of 2001, and further finance is expected to make its was from Kuala Lumpur to Faenza as a result of the former FNippon racer staying on for the coming season.

According to Malaysian state news agency Bernama, team boss Paul Stoddart and sports minister Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein met with prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad to firm up the relationship between Minardi and the country.

Although no new sponsors were revealed after the meeting, Stoddart confirmed that the team would unveil a new look in January, one month before the PS02, complete with its Asiatech engine, is due to be unveiled.in Kuala Lumpur. The change of name means that Stoddart's own company, European Airlines, is no longer the title backer of the team, paving the way for more Malaysian investment to join the national lottery organiser, Magnum, on the side of the car.

With Yoong confirmed in one of the two available seats speculation continues to surround his possible partner. Mark Webber, a former protege of Stoddart's, remains favourite, but is expected to face competition from F1 veteran Jos Verstappen, if the Dutchman is ousted from Arrows, and F3 frontrunner Gianmaria Bruni.