Stoddart: new regs are illegal

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart has remained defiant in his view that the 2005 Formula 1 regulations are illegal, as the controversy over him running his old cars at the start of the season shows no sign of dying down

Stoddart: new regs are illegal

Autosport.com exclusively revealed at the weekend that Stoddart appears to be heading for a showdown in Australia because he plans to run his 2004 cars at the event - with FIA president Max Mosley warning that the PS04Bs will not pass scrutineering unless special dispensation is given.

Stoddart has claimed that the ball is firmly in the FIA's court and, speaking to Australian radio station Sports Entertainment Network at the weekend, has shown no signs of backing down in his view that the 2005 regulations are illegal.

"The 2005 regulations that were brought in last year under a very interesting safety clause within our governing agreement, which didn't have the support of the teams and was procedurally flawed in the way it was brought in, has left the teams not really knowing what regulations they're racing to in 2005," he said.

"It's my belief, and that belief is backed up by some pretty solid legal advice, that the 2004 regulations are still in force. As such, we've elected not to waste a lot of money that a team like Minardi can ill afford to do, by doing an interim car, as it's called, that may be racing to 2005 regulations, maybe if they're legal.

"We are going to stand by, as I said, some very solid legal advice that the 2004 regulations are still in full force and effect, and we will be racing our 2004 cars legally in Melbourne, Malaysia and Bahrain. After that we are introducing our 2005 car."

Minardi has modified its 2004-car to bring it up to the required safety standards for this year, but unlike the Ferrari F2004M it will not comply with new aerodynamic regulations.

Despite his defiance about the cars, and Mosley's assertion that the cars will 'not get out of the pit-lane' if they do not comply to the 2005 regulations, Stoddart remains hopeful that the matter will not result in a public fight in Melbourne.

"I don't think it will come to that," he added. "I would like to think that sanity will prevail. But you never know in Formula 1. We're ready for that situation, totally ready for it, and were that to happen we would race under protest.

"And were a protest not to be entertained at the track it certainly would in the Victorian Supreme Court, and we've taken some pretty solid legal advice and, if necessary we will be presenting ourselves up there and asking for injunctive relief to race under protest for a case that we know we would win ultimately when the arbitration was heard, some months further down the line. It's all been well rehearsed, mate."

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