Stoddart Not Ruling Out Red Bull Deal

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart had admitted to having held talks with Red Bull, but the Australian said they are not necessarily about a buyout of the team

Stoddart Not Ruling Out Red Bull Deal

"I said before that I had spoken to Red Bull but not necessarily about the team. Since then, there is not a lot to add," Stoddart said. "There is an interest from Red Bull but it may still turn out to be an interest in drivers as apposed to an interest in the team, but I don't know."

As revealed by Autosport-Atlas, Red Bull has until Saturday night to decide whether to buy into the Minardi team in order to place some of their drivers there in 2006.

Stoddart said the Austrian company could also consider the possibility of simply buying the drives instead of purchasing a stake, but the Minardi boss did not rule out selling to the energy drinks company.

"I had a positive talk with Red Bull last weekend that centred as much around drivers as it did around the team, they have had a chance to look at things throughout the week and where they are now is really for them to say," Stoddart added.

"Nobody has come back to me and said Paul, 'I want to buy two driver seats next year' or 'I want to buy the team' or whatever. There simply is nothing and I cannot speculate on what they might or might not do.

"And with it being Red Bull you wouldn't want to write them off. We are not talking about some chancer who is a total and utter time waster, we are talking about a pretty serious individual and company that has the ability to do whatever they want to do.

"We all know the reputation of Red Bull and it is a proper company, so you are not going to treat them the way you would someone who you didn't know who called you out the blue and said they have a bucket load of money.

"Can Dietrich Mateschitz do this deal if there is a deal and he wants to do it? Unequivocally yes. Does he want to do it? You have to ask him. Would he want to place a driver in the team?

"I think that is a lot more likely, because it is just a natural mathematical situation because they have contracted more drivers than they can accommodate.

"And they are not the only team. We have been talked to by one team seriously and one on a what-if basis and there are other teams in this pitlane who have drivers to place for next year."

There have been suggestions that Red Bull could run this year's RB1 as Minardis next season if they take the decision to buy into the Anglo-Italian squad, but Stoddart said that was not a possibility.

"They cannot do that," he said. "That is a non-starter. The answer is no. It is within the Concorde Agreement."

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