Mateschitz: Minardi to Stay in Italy

Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has said the Minardi team will stay in Italy when they race under the Austrian company's name

Mateschitz: Minardi to Stay in Italy

Although Red Bull's Helmut Marko said earlier this month that Minardi's Faenza factory would be shut down and the team would be moved to the UK by 2008, Mateschitz said he wants the outfit to remain Italian.

"For me they're an Italian team and they must stay in Faenza," Mateschitz said in Austria yesterday. "But the squad must become competitive and avoid being always last on the grid. We'll change their image: it will be a mixture of fun and performance."

Mateschitz, however, said the Minardi name was likely to disappear, and that the new team would have the word 'rookie' in their name.

The Austrian reiterated the main goal behind the Minardi purchase was to allow young drivers to find their way into Formula One.

"It was the ideal solution for our philosophy," he added. "We want to launch young people. There are more talented drivers than available cockpits. Who knows how many good racers there are in Africa, China, India, and no one knows about them.

"We want to follow these guys from an extremely young age, and make them grow. We want to become responsible for them, just like the Minardi team used to do."

Mateschitz said Italian Vitantonio Liuzzi, who has raced for Red Bull this season, was almost certain to land one of the seats at the second team.

"He's fast and intelligent. He's the kind of driver people expect for his charisma and sympathy," Mateschitz said.

The billionaire said the managing team, however, would not come from Red Bull Racing, their first Formula One team.

"We won't take them from Red Bull," he said. "It would be a mistake, because we still aren't the best team in F1. We need expert people, but it won't be Gerhard Berger. We need someone who takes care of the team full time and he already has other commitments."

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