Minardi Seeking Legal Action to Race in Australia

Minardi are seeking legal action to overturn a stewards' decision preventing them running their cars in the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

Minardi Seeking Legal Action to Race in Australia

Minardi are seeking legal action to overturn a stewards' decision preventing them running their cars in the season-opening Australian Formula One Grand Prix.

Team owner Paul Stoddart told reporters at the Albert Park circuit on Friday that the stewards had rejected Minardi's request to run their unmodified 2004 cars which do not conform to new aerodynamic regulations.

"Despite the very fair hearing from the stewards ... I think with a heavy heart, they have decided against us," he said.

Stoddart added that the struggling team now had two options - to seek an injunction in the Victoria Supreme Court or to try and modify the cars overnight to conform to regulations.

"We are going to seek the legal remedy. We think we prepared an absolutely watertight case and that will be up to a judge now whether or not he sees it the same way," he said.

"Obviously in tandem we will try to modify the cars as well."

Minardi arrived in Melbourne with their 2004-specification car which conformed to safety regulations but not the new aerodynamic rules. To run them, they needed the support of all the other teams as well as the stewards' agreement.

Asked whether the team could get the cars ready in time for Saturday's first qualifying should the legal path fail, Stoddart said: "Expect the midnight oil to be well and truly burned tonight if we have to go down that route.

"We'll try. I'm not sure we're going to make that but we'll try."

Minardi scored one point last year and are usually several seconds off the pace. Their drivers for 2005 are Dutchman Christijan Albers and Austrian Patrick Friesacher.

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