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Paul Stoddart was one of many familiar Formula One faces to stop in at the Autosport International show at the NEC in Birmingham and as ever the Australian team owner was not afraid to mince his words as he promised a 'radically better' car for 2005 and vowed to try and beat the Toyota powered Jordan team.
"What's the target for 2005," Stoddart was asked. "To beat Jordan," Stoddart responded immediately. "We have a new car which I have seen the first results of now the first chassis is built. We are going to be late introducing it because of the regulations coming in late, it will be the fourth race, the first of the so-called European races at Imola. The early signs are that it is radically better than last years car."
With the rules dictating that each engine must last two Grand Prix, it is more likely that the new Minardi will race for the first time in the fifth race of the season in Spain.
"Nobody will mistake the two cars believe you me it is completely unlike any Minardi you've ever seen before." Stoddart continued. "With the tremendous support we are now getting from Cosworth, I think we could be dangerous - in our own little way - in the second half of the year.”
Stoddart's Minardi team compete with less then ten percent of the budget of many rivals and gets 95 - 98 percent of the performance, a fact Stoddart is very proud of.