Honda website
Honda website

JANUARY 29, 2003

Stoddart explains Avons

Paul Stoddart has explained why his Minardi F1 cars are out running on Avon Formula 3000 tyres in Valencia.

"We have been talking to Bridgestone since October 17," Stoddart said. "They have been very slow to respond and in fact it was only this morning when I got to the track that I received notification that they want a seven-figure deposit before supplying any tyres at all. I asked for tyres just for this test but there was no agreement reached on that. The result of that is that we have had to use Avons, which we brought along with us just in case. This problem has to be resolved because the FIA Sporting Regulations state that a tyre company must be willing to equip "up to 60% of the entered teams on ordinary commercial terms". I don't know what other teams are doing but I do not think that asking a seven figure sum as a deposit amounts to ordinary commercial terms.

"It is very frustrating that Minardi is now once again going to have to spend money on lawyers rather than on the cars and it is sad that it is happening at a time when the sport needs to unite to face the current economic problems."