Minardi in race against time

Grand Prix racing minnows Minardi faces a race against time to secure an engine supply before Formula 1 testing recommences on December 1st

Minardi in race against time

The Italian team, which has lost its customer deal with Ford, was tipped to secure a supply of Mugen Honda engines for 2001, but reports from Japan say the Honda-affiliated tuning company has now confirmed its total pull-out from F1.

Ford ended its customer engine programme to concentrate on Jaguar Racing's Cosworth-built V10s and is no longer in a position to support even a stop-gap test programme for the team.

Minardi's best - only? - hope now is a deal to run Supertec engines, with sources putting the cost of a season's supply at around £12m. But the Renault-derived V10 units are unlikely to receive significant development next year, following Renault's official return as an F1 engine-supplier.

Rumours that South American media group PSN's majority buy-out of the team is at risk because of the engine supply problem appear wide of the mark - and F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone is unlikely to allow two cars to diappear from the 22-car grid.

However, delays in finalising a deal, plus the time needed to finalise installation of a new engine in the team's current MN02 chassis, are set to have major repercussions on Minardi's pre-season testing timetable.

Drivers Marc Gene and Gaston Mazzacane are both tipped to be retained by the team. Gene is key to a soon-to-be-announced sponsorship deal with finance company LeasePlan, while Mazzacane meets PSN's wishes for a South American driver to be included in the line-up.

shares
comments
Big guns will fight shy
Previous article

Big guns will fight shy

Next article

Irvine: Brawn is not Crucial to Schumacher's Success

Irvine: Brawn is not Crucial to Schumacher's Success
Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell Plus

Why few could blame Leclerc for following the example of Hamilton’s exit bombshell

OPINION: Ferrari's numerous strategy blunders, as well as some of his own mistakes, have cost Charles Leclerc dearly in the 2022 Formula 1 title battle in the first half of the season. Though he is locked into a deal with Ferrari, few could blame Leclerc if he ultimately wanted to look elsewhere - just as Lewis Hamilton did with McLaren 10 years prior

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat Plus

The other McLaren exile hoping to follow Perez's path to a top F1 seat

After being ditched by McLaren earlier in his F1 career Sergio Perez fought his way back into a seat with a leading team. BEN EDWARDS thinks the same could be happening to another member of the current grid

Formula 1
Aug 8, 2022
How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay Plus

How studying Schumacher helped make Coulthard a McLaren F1 mainstay

Winner of 13 grands prix including Monaco and survivor of a life-changing plane crash, David Coulthard could be forgiven for having eased into a quiet retirement – but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, in fact he’s busier than ever, running an award-winning media company and championing diversity in motor racing. Not bad for someone who, by his own admission, wasn’t quite the fastest driver of his generation…

Formula 1
Aug 7, 2022
Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre? Plus

Could F1 move to a future beyond carbonfibre?

Formula 1 has ambitious goals for improving its carbon footprint, but could this include banishing its favoured composite material? PAT SYMONDS considers the alternatives to carbonfibre and what use, if any, those materials have in a Formula 1 setting

Formula 1
Aug 6, 2022
How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir Plus

How Russell has proven he deserves to be Hamilton's Mercedes heir

He’s fast, he’s smart, and he’s already shown he’s not going to let Max Verstappen intimidate him. George Russell won’t say it, but LUKE SMITH says he’s ready to take the lead at Mercedes when Lewis Hamilton moves on to a quieter life. And – whisper it – Mercedes and Lewis are starting to think so too

Formula 1
Aug 5, 2022
The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move Plus

The traits that fuelled Alonso's unexpected Aston Martin move

Fernando Alonso’s bombshell switch to Aston Martin sent shockwaves through Formula 1, not least at Alpine that finds itself tangled in a contract standoff with Oscar Piastri. Not shy of a bold career move and with a CV punctuated by them, there were numerous hints that trouble was brewing

Formula 1
Aug 4, 2022
The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships Plus

The elements Ferrari must resolve to first save face, then win championships

OPINION: Ferrari's Formula 1 title hopes look all but over after another strategic blunder in last week's Hungarian Grand Prix denied Charles Leclerc the chance to fight for victory, while handing it to chief rival Max Verstappen. The Scuderia now faces intense scrutiny over what it must now do to finally become a genuine factor in championship battles

Formula 1
Aug 3, 2022
The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision Plus

The clues about Hamilton’s F1 retirement plans revealed after Vettel’s decision

OPINION: Sebastian Vettel is set to leave Formula 1 at the end of 2022 and will, rather shockingly, be replaced by Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin. But what about the final chapter of the other driver that defined the post-Michael Schumacher era? In Hungary, Lewis Hamilton spoke about his future in the context of Vettel’s upcoming departure, which offered clues on how long it will last

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2022