It is now widely acknowledged that Paul Stoddart has won his plight to secure the $12 million in commercial income.
Several reports Wednesday suggested that the majority of votes from F1 team bosses had ruled that Stoddart would get the money and that Bernie Ecclestone, F1 commercial chief, had been instructed by F1’s Governing Body the FIA to transfer the money to him this week.
However, the cash is not available as a lump sum as previously thought. It will be paid off in quarterly instalments and Stoddart will first have to repay a reputed $9 million loan back to Ecclestone that he agreed to before the season began.
It was also reported though that Stoddart is already in negotiations with the authorities to have a large percentage of the money paid in advance so the team has short-term stability.
Meanwhile, rumours about Asiatech becoming a key partner of Minardi resurfaced on Wednesday. The company, which supplies engines to the team on a customer basis, has made no secret of its intention to get involved in chassis development. It has previously been linked to a Minardi buy-out or team partnership but the claims have came about again as Stoddart now begins to plan Minardi’s medium to long-term future.
Stoddart told “Autosport”, the UK weekly that there had been no talks on that front but that he would be investigating it with Asiatech chiefs.
‘It is something we will be looking into but there have been no proper discussions yet,’ he said. ‘We have been aware from the start that Asiatech are looking at doing their own chassis technology and we knew that we would benefit from any advances they made in this field.
‘This is definitely something we would consider and we would do anything to improve our performance but whether that is with Asiatech or whether that is with another manufacturer remains to be seen.’