Ecclestone to Help Minardi Out

Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has dipped into his own pocket to fund the struggling Minardi team, it was revealed at the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Ecclestone to Help Minardi Out

Formula One commercial rights holder Bernie Ecclestone has dipped into his own pocket to fund the struggling Minardi team, it was revealed at the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday.

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart had appealed for a hand-out Friday after finding out that the "fighting fund" he had been promised by his rival team bosses had collapsed.

But Ecclestone, who earlier today said Minardi should leave Formula One, said he will provide Minardi with an undisclosed amount.

Stoddart had expected to receive an $8 million (USD) aid from his rival teams after a proposal was made in January but they refused to provide it to him because they incurred extra costs after the Formula One rules changed this year.

Several of the sport's team principals met to discuss the matter in the Montreal paddock on Saturday afternoon and Stoddart's fellow cash-strapped rival Eddie Jordan confirmed the news.

"Bernie is going to help Minardi for now and he is doing it personally," said Jordan. "None of the teams have had to put their hand in their pockets. Bernie thinks it is right for the good of the sport to keep ten teams there and he is doing everything at no loss to any team and no reduction or withdrawal from any previous column A or B money that is entitled to the teams."

Ecclestone is also expected to hand Jordan some financial assistance, but neither man would confirm the exact value of the additional funds.

McLaren team boss Ron Dennis, who had instigated the 'fighting fund' in January, said he was happy the episode had drawn to a close. "I think the money is coming from the right place," Dennis said.

BAR-Honda David Richards praised Ecclestone for his decision to help Minardi stay in Formula One. "Bernie has resolved this problem himself," Richards said. "Long-term, that is a discussion that Paul has to make himself with Bernie but certainly Bernie himself has made it possible for Paul to continue and I compliment him on that.

"There was a lot of discussion and at the end of the day Bernie offered a solution that I think everybody is happy about and I think Paul will feel very pleased that it puts an end to all the wranglings that have been going on over the last few months.

"I think you will find that Eddie is also happy."

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