Minardi seeks legal action
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart said on Friday that he will seek legal action to ensure his team takes part in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix, as the dispute over his cars' right to race continued at Albert Park on Friday.

The Melbourne-born Australian is seeking to run his 2004 cars in the event even though they do not comply to new aerodynamic regulations by arguing that the rules were agreed too late last year.

He has been preparing for this dispute for months after Ferrari boss Jean Todt blocked the plans despite Stoddart claiming he had the agreement of every other team in the paddock.

He met with Todt on Friday morning but failed to convince the world champion boss to take pity on his squad and he has been left with no option but to go to court to get his cars on the grid.

Stoddart said: "We had a very fair hearing from the stewards. With a heavy heart they've decided against us. I compliment the stewards on their fairness.

"But it leaves us now with only two options, one of which is to seek injunctive relief against the stewards' decision, not against this event, and the other to try and modify the car overnight.

"We are going to seek the legal remedy. We think we have prepared a water-tight case. What I can say is that under no circumstances will we seek to disrupt this event in any shape or form."

The team's two drivers Christijan Albers and Patrick Freisacher were stopped from taking to the track while the rest of the field thundered around the track during Friday's two practice sessions.

But Stoddart insisted he will do everything he can to make sure the pair, who are both yet to make their Grand Prix debuts, can make it into the race on Sunday.

He expects to win the case in the Supreme Court but the team have an un-tested aerodynamic kit which meets the 2005 regulations ready to run if they fail.

Stoddart added: "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. So a judge, who is probably far better qualified to adjudicate on these matters, will now decide. Obviously, in tandem, we will try and modify the cars."

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."
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Minardi Seeking Legal Action to Race in Australia
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