Stoddart eyes F1 comeback

UPDATE This rumor is now upgraded to 'fact.' Paul Stoddart has lodged an FIA entry to re-launch the 'Minardi' team in 2008, the Australian entrepreneur said in Melbourne on Tuesday.

At an event with his two-seater F1 cars outside of the city, 50-year-old Stoddart – who sold his Faenza based team of the same name to Red Bull last year – suggested that he would run the new team from his Ledbury (England) factory, with a 2004-specification car.

''We're entered as European Minardi F1 Team,'' he confirmed, ''and I think it would be good to bring the name back and great for the sport to get some characters back in there.''

The rights to the 2005 Minardi racer, presumably, were transferred to Red Bull, the energy drink that has renamed Minardi 'Scuderia Toro Rosso'.

Stoddart, clearly holding out for Max Mosley's lower-cost future, explained that he would not be guaranteed one of the maximum of 12 garage slots.

But he continued: ''If the prices do go down to this reputed $100m, then we'd be positively dangerous — we'd no longer be just destroyed by these billion dollar budgets.''

[Editor's Note: This should end any rumors that Stoddart should start a Champ Car team that we heard floating around.]

03/28/06 (GMMf1NET) Just a few months after exiting the F1 turnstile, Paul Stoddart is eying a route back in.

The former Minardi chief sold his Faenza based team to Red Bull last year, but he has since lost millions on the 'OzJet' airline and now admits to missing the paddock's buzz 'badly'.

He said coping with life after F1 has been 'very hard'.

Stoddart, 50 – tipped to appear in the Albert Park paddock this weekend – told the Melbourne Age: ''I would like to think that all kinds of opportunities could be there, if not in '06 or '07 (then) in '08.''

The newspaper hinted that Stoddart has told some European associates that he is looking into starting a new team under Max Mosley's low-cost blueprint.

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