Irvine eyes Minardi

UPDATE Speaking to Autosport-Atlas, Paul Stoddart claimed the only conversation he had had with Eddie Irvine about selling his team was at this year's Monaco Grand Prix – although further talks may take place when Irvine flies into today's race at Hockenheim.

"I spoke to Eddie back in Monaco on a 'what-if' basis, but I believed at that time they were looking at Jordan," said Stoddart. "I want to stress that we have not had any discussions.

"I am aware he is shopping, but they are one of five people that I know are shopping at the moment. We are the only team for sale and I have made it clear, particularly if there was any manufacturer involvement, that I would always be willing to sell."

Irvine is believed to be acting as a front man for Russian billionaire Roustam Tariko, who has made his money from vodka and banking.

07/24/05 Eddie Irvine has reportedly turned his attention from buying Jordan to Paul Stoddart's back of the grid Minardi team. The former Jordan, Ferrari and Jaguar racer is apparently set to fly into Hockenheim for talks with the Faenza based team's Aussie owner.

Talks with Jordan fell through when team owner Alex Shnaider demanded from Irvine's Russian associate Roustam Tariko a 'silly' $105m. ''Irvine has been in touch with me,'' Stoddart told The Sun newspaper, ''but we can only start serious talks (when) he puts a $35m deposit on the table.''

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