F1’s privateer era is over – Stoddart

Thu, 2 November 2006, 08:37

aul Stoddart, who sold his Minardi team to energy drink Red Bull last year, says the ‘day of the independents’ in F1 is over.

Among former colleagues like Eddie Jordan and Peter Sauber, the Australian entrepreneur ran a small grand prix outfit until what he describes as the advent of ‘multi-billionaires’.

Seven of F1’s eleven teams are owned or part-owned by car manufacturers, while the remaining ‘privateers’ – Williams and Super Aguri – are closely aligned with multinational car firms.

Energy drink Red Bull, headed by billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, owns the remaining two.

Stoddart, 51, said: “I think the day of the independents in F1 is over unless they are multi-billionaires.”

The Australian businessman, who made his fortune by selling aviation spare parts in Europe, said with his final budgets he could no longer compete in F1.

Stoddart is now close to fielding a Champ Car team.

He admitted of F1: “You do get depressed when you operate on a tenth and sometimes a twentieth of the budgets of those further up the grid.”


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