Despite enduring a tough start to the 2003 Formula One season, the European Minardi team is expected to confirm that commercial partner, Trust International, will become its main sponsor from the next round of the world championship.

As a result of the agreement, which is scheduled to be announced later today [Thursday], the PS03s driven by Jos Verstappen and Justin Wilson will carry a bold new livery from the forthcoming Monaco Grand Prix onwards. Dutch ace Verstappen will unveil the new colour scheme at a press conference to be held at Trust's Dordrecht headquarters this afternoon, while a subsequent press conference, involving Trust CEO Michel Perridon and the Minardi driver, will explain the details of the new sponsorship arrangement.

"I am absolutely delighted to give Paul Stoddart, and the whole European Minardi Cosworth Formula One team, my full support, and have all the confidence that we will continue to enjoy a strong relationship together in F1," Perridon said ahead of the announcement, "Trust International wishes the whole team all the luck for the coming Grand Prix in Monaco."

Trust's bigger involvement is thought to have followed the collapse of a deal between Minardi and Russian power supplier Gazprom, although team boss Stoddart was not at liberty to confirm or deny this.

"It is with great pleasure that we will announce today that Trust International has increased its backing for the Minardi team," the Australian commented, "Michel Perridon's company was one of our first sponsors of 2003, and we are gratified that he and Trust are demonstrating a continuing commitment to our team with this announcement. The relationship has been beneficial to both parties, and I'm sure the enhanced Trust identification on the cars will have a correspondingly beneficial effect on Trust sales worldwide."

Established in 1990, Trust provides a range of computer peripherals and accessories aimed at increasing the functionality and flexibility of PCs and laptops. The accessories range includes game products, scanners, cameras, modems, webcams, speakers, mice and keyboards.