Wednesday May 30th, 2001
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has revealed he is about to close a deal to use a works engine in the 2002 season.
The Australian businessman, who saved the small Italian outfit earlier this year when he bought the majority stake from the late Gabriele Rumi, said Minardi will most likely use an engine from a 'well known manufacturer', though he did not reveal the name.
"I am in the final stages of negotiating a works engine deal for next year with a well known manufacturer," Stoddart said in an exclusive interview with Atlas F1, "but obviously I can't at this stage say who. We are hoping to be able to announce it formally by the end of August, and it will allow us to achieve what I want to achieve with Minardi, which is to move up the grid to become a mid-field team."
Minardi, currently using the 1998 Ford V10 engines, will introduce changes to their PS01 chassis at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Stoddart revealed, also taking the opportunity to praise his star driver Fernando Alonso.
"We have a good chassis, there are no regulation changes next year, so we are in good shape for 2002. We will have a few changes for Hungary on the car, a new gearbox, a new rear end, and so we should go well there.
"Overall I think we are ahead of our plan at the moment, some of it is by hard work, and some of it is due to the driving of Alonso, and so I see no reason to slip backwards."