The new Minardi runs at Mugello

THE new Minardi-Ford M198 ran for the first time last week at Ferrari's Mugello test track near Florence, in Italy, with Argentina's new rising star Esteban Tuero at the wheel. The car, which ran in a grey livery but without any sponsors, is the latest design from Gabriele Tredozi's team at Faenza with considerable input from aerodynamicists under Jean-Claude Migeot at Fondmetal Technologies in Casumaro, which Minardi's new boss Gabriele Rumi owns. Rumi's increasing power at Minardi is highlighted by the color scheme - which is similar to that used on the last Fondmetal F1 cars in the early 1990s.

The team is unlikely to reveal its full package of sponsorship until the end of February and this will largely depend on who gets the second seat in the team, alongside Tuero.

Last week the team announced that it had been forced to release Tarso Marques from his long-term Minardi contract, the implication being that a driver with either more experience or more money has been found. The names currently being linked with the team include Jos Verstappen, Tom Kristensen, Shinji Nakano and Laurent Redon.

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