Asiatech pulls out of Formula 1

Minardi engine supplier Asiatech has pulled the plug on its Formula 1 programme - and that includes an ambitious plan to build its own car for 2004

Asiatech pulls out of Formula 1

The company has cited funding problems as the reason for its decision.

A statement issued at Suzuka over the weekend said that "problems with its previously firmly guaranteed funding have prevented it from moving on to this second phase of the programme."

Asiatech entered the sport last year after taking over Peugeot's staff and facilities when the French manufacturer pulled out of F1. It supplied engines to Arrows, then switched to Minardi for this year. The company released plans to build an F1 chassis earlier this year.

"It has been a tremendous source of satisfaction, as well as a challenge, to compete in F1," the statement continued.

"Our relationship with the Minardi team has been excellent and we wish them all the best for next season."

Minardi's future is uncertain because of a court case brought by rival teams against Formula One Management could cost it vital revenue. If the team does survive into next year, its cars could be powered by Ford Cosworth V10s.

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