According to sources in Holland, the national branch of auto parts supply chain Halfords is set to be the new sponsor of the Minardi team, renewing an association with driver Jos Verstappen that stretches back to the Dutchman's time at Tyrrell - when Minardi boss Paul Stoddart was a team sponsor.

Speaking at the Triavium centre in Nijmegen, Verstappen apparently announced the deal to a crowd of 135 Halfords Netherlands shopowners, and indicated that the company logo would feature prominently on the Minardi PS03 as well as the drivers' overalls and team transporters. 'The Boss' was accompanied on stage by the MD of Halfords Netherlands, Paul Burger, and spent considerable time signing autographs for the audience.

His manager, former Osella and Zakspeed F1 driver Huub Rothengatter, did little to dispel the suggestion that Halfords Netherlands would be part of Minardi's 2003 campaign.

"It is fantastic that, yet again, a Dutch company has faith in the Minardi team by sponsoring us," Rothengatter told Verstappen's personal website, "We are very happy to see that Halfords wants to be associated with Jos Verstappen and Minardi. This is the crown on a co-operation which goes back to end of 1999, when we sold Jos Verstappen merchandise through Halfords. I also would like to thank the HMG Group for all their efforts which have contributed to the conclusion of this deal."

The presentation at the Triavium was lead by Olav Mol, the F1 commentator for Dutch television channel RTL5.