Stoddart Warns 11th Team over Cloned Car

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart believes plans by Honda's second team to run development versions of this year's BAR007 next season could face opposition from rival teams

Although specific details of the new Honda outfit have not been made official, it is widely believed that the team plan to run a version of this year's BAR chassis because it is too late to build an entirely new car.

Although running customer cars is not allowed in F1, the team could get around that Concorde Agreement stipulation by purchasing the intellectual property rights to the BAR007 and then building the car themselves.

But Stoddart thinks that even doing that could draw opposition from rival teams.

"If you are starting off a clone of another car there are people who know full well what is contained in the Concorde Agreement and they would not take too kindly to a car being a clone of another car," said Stoddart, who owns the intellectual property rights to the 2002 Arrows cars.

"It is alright to say we will sell the intellectual property rights, but to just sell the property rights to one year of one particular car does not get around the problem. The Concorde says 'not designed by, manufactured by or owned by', so just owning the rights to the chassis is only one half of it. I don't think it is that easy."

Stoddart has also questioned the timing of the launch of the new team - because the current financial structure of the sport does not make it particularly equitable.

He believes it would make more sense for a new team to wait until 2008, when there will almost certainly be a much more favourable distribution of the sport's commercial revenue.

"Is it just talk?" said Stoddart. "I find it very unusual. I don't doubt Honda could do it, but I find it unusual that they would do it.

"A new team has to pay the bond, (they will get) no television money, they don't have a seat in the technical working group or a vote in the Formula One commission, and it seems a strange time for a new team to come in.

"When we are so close to 2008 you would think that they would wait until 2008."

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