Monday February 5th, 2001
The Minardi Formula One team, whose fate hung in the balance until Australian businessman Paul Stoddart bought them last week, have declared themselves ready for the new season.
"This year's car is finished and ready to go," Australian newspapers quoted Stoddart as saying on Monday.
"It looks lovely and there will be a very special feeling seeing it roll out on to the grid for the opening race in Melbourne (on March 4)."
Stoddart also said he would maintain the spirit and traditions of the team, who have many admirers despite winning just one point in the past five years.
"Minardi may not have enjoyed much success but they are one of the best-liked teams in the pit lane. It's a friendly, family team and I will not be doing anything to destroy the atmosphere," he said.
The team are expected to name their first driver on Tuesday and complete their line-up next week.