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F1 NEWS 

Minardi sad to see team name disappear

Gian Carlo Minardi says losing his team's name was a reasonable price to pay for saving the struggling Faenza-based squad.

But the team founder admitted he is unhappy the Minardi name will disappear from Formula One next season.

"We have managed to save all the workforce. If the price to pay was [losing] the name, then never mind. But don't think I'm happy about it," Minardi told Autosprint.

"I made one particular error five years ago. I didn't follow the advice I was given by a man with whom I had a relationship in the early seventies, long before getting into F1.

"That man told me: 'Minardi, sell your stock, sell whatever you want, but don't ever sell your name.' That man's name was Enzo Ferrari. Instead [of selling it] I gave the name away for free."

Energy drinks giant Red Bull bought Minardi from Paul Stoddart last month and the team will race under the name Squadra Toro Rosso in 2006.

Minardi, who founded his team in 1985, has no regrets about his life in Formula One, despite the financial struggles over the years.

"I lost plenty of money [in F1] and I'm still paying for debts I got before 1997, when I was still the sole owner of the stock," Minardi added. "But life isn't all about money. At least I've had the satisfaction of staying in this environment and to do the things I wanted to.

"And besides, this is well known but it can't be said, in Italy there isn't room for two teams. But if someone believed in it more, at the right time, maybe the story would have been different."

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