Russian businessman Roman Abramovich may soon buy the F1 team Minardi
The Chelsea owner has already met with Minardi boss Paul Stoddart, Russia's online source NEWSRu.com reports.
According to Britain's The Sun, F1 is Abramovich's second favorite after football passion. He has already made a weighty acquisition in football, the premier league club Chelsea. Now he is to focus on the Formula One racing.
The Sun assumes that at present the value of Minardi is about 75 million pounds. The Chukotka governor has already had an appointment with Minardi boss Paul Stoddart. The latter says that if Roman Abramovich wants he may save the F1 team as Minardi urgently needs substantial investment.
What is more, Paul Stoddart says that the F1 team is looking for someone to help it overcome financial problems. He adds: "At present our race cars still participate in the races even unsupported financially, but soon they won't be able to."
Commenting upon his meeting with Roman Abramovich, Stoddart said that the Russian oligarch is a charming man. "I met Abramovich at the European Grand Prix in Germany. We had much time together; he saw the boxes of the team; his little son even sat at a steering wheel of a car. We talked a lot about the Formula One and I saw Abramovich likes sports."
In May 2003, Minardi ended cooperation with Russia's Gazprom. The team's cars and drivers participated in the Grand Prix Austria without advertising of the Russian gas monopoly. The emblems of the Russian company were immediately removed from the suits and other things the team used. Paul Stoddart ordered to put patches to the logo of the Russian gas concern on the Minardi suits. Gazprom hadn't financed the team since the end of the previous year which in fact was a violation of a three-year contract between the companies to the sum of about $20 million. The Minardi boss says that the team will be able to end the season without this money, but financing is extremely important for further development of Minardi.