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From the Pulpit

F1 Racing's Editor in Chief has a look down the grid, at a team that is doing well above expectations, and an outfit that badly needs saving from its own management

Formula One people don't usually spend a lot of time thinking about Minardi - unless they're trying to second-guess the machinations of the team's feisty owner, that is. For, although his cars rarely come anywhere near to troubling the scorers, Paul Stoddart is a big figure in the F1 paddock. Larger-than-life, in fact, as the phrase goes, and therefore very carefully watched by many of the sport's most senior movers and shakers.

In Montreal, as ever, F1 politics was Paul's main theme of conversation. He has long been nicknamed "F1's unofficial shop steward" - and he was every inch the union man in Canada, banging on about "Bernie this" and, more especially and much more angrily, "Max that", the livelong day. And, whatever your personal views about Messrs Ecclestone and Mosley, and however much you despise or esteem them, you have to admire Stoddy's spunk (as I think they say in his native Australia).

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