12/15/2004 0 Comments
The Passion of Stoddart
It must be strange to be Paul Stoddart. Starting from scratch he built up an airline out of a bunch of promises and an unlikely deal with the Australian Air Force, made a bit of money and then became in effect the ultimate Formula One fan of his time when he bought the remains of the Tyrrell organisation after the embryonic BAR stripped out the rights to compete in the series and little else, putting Uncle Ken out to pasture and turning off the lights in the factory as they left. Which meant that he had the ever aging equipment, without the ability to actually use it to go racing.
Not long afterwards he was sitting in his new facility in Ledbury when he read that Minardi, the underfunded but much beloved team built on a dream and little else by third generation racer Gian Carlo Minardi, was about to pay the ultimate price for the past few years of financial mismanagement by their owner, Fondmetal's Gabriele Rumi. Sensing a way into Formula One Stoddart swooped, and against no competition at all he made the deal. The good news was he was now in Formula One – the bad news was it was with Minardi. And at the end of 2000 that was about as bad as it could get
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