Atlas F1 News Service

No Pay Driver for Minardi, Says Stoddart

Wednesday February 7th, 2001

New Minardi owner Paul Stoddart will not hire a "pay-per-drive" driver for the Faenza-based team this season, the Australian admitted.

Stoddart saved the struggling Minardi team last week when he bought a majority stake from former owner Gabriele Rumi, and it was announced today that Spaniard Fernando Alonso will drive for them during the 2001 season.

Minardi are still to announce who will be Alonso's teammate, but according to Stoddart, it will be his talent and not his money what will have the final word when choosing.

"Money is obviously a necessary evil in Formula One," Stoddart said, "and we've got open arms to take as much of it as we can get.

"But having said that, it would be quite wrong if I just made money the only motivator, because it is most certainly not. We haven't come this far to waste it all by putting a couple of drivers in the car that really can't drive. So you won't see that from us.

"We're hoping to have a young charger and then somebody with more experience alongside him. One was announced today and the second next week."

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