Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Minardi Under Financial Investigation

Wednesday June 27th, 2001

Gian Carlo Minardi, former head of the Minardi Formula One team, said on Wednesday he was being investigated by Italian authorities over allegations of illegal financial activity.

"The investigation covers the period from 1993 to 1996 when (Gian Carlo) Minardi was the Team Principal," Minardi said in a statement released from the team's headquarters in the Italian town of Faenza. "Gian Carlo Minardi denies any accusation of illegal financial activity as concerns the company that bears his name and has guaranteed his complete willingness to cooperate with the authorities conducting the investigation."

The statement added that the inquiry did not in any way relate to the current management of the Minardi team, which was bought by Australian entrepreneur Paul Stoddart earlier this year.

"(The investigation) will have no effect whatsoever on the activities of the Minardi European F1 team as it is now structured," the statement said.

Stoddart, who made his fortune in aviation, took over the struggling Minardi organisation in January 2001. The team has won only one world championship point in the past five years.

Published at 09:17:28 GMT

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