The Minardi team ran without any sponsorship in this afternoon's British Grand Prix at Silverstone, in a tribute to sporting director John Walton who died on Friday night.

Instead of the usual corporate logos, Zsolt Baumgartner and Gianmaria Bruni ran the race in cars featuring 'John Boy' on the rear wing and side pods as a tribute to the man described by team boss Paul Stoddart as 'one of the greatest guys in the paddock'.

In its post-race press release the team thanked its commercial and technical partners for allowing them to run without the usual livery as a mark of respect.

On track both drivers were determined to make it to the chequered flag to pay their own respects to the popular figure but a difficult day on track saw Baumgartner retire with engine problems.

"I'm upset that I wasn't able to finish the race and take the chequered flag today," he said afterwards. "I had promised myself that I would do it, both for John and for me. Everybody worked really hard this weekend in difficult circumstances, and I want to thank the team for that."

Bruni was able to reach the finish, albeit four laps down after encountering problems of his own. During his second stop, a misunderstanding saw the Italian try to pull away from the pit with the refuelling nozzle still attached to the car. Luckily no crew members suffered any serious injuries.

Team principal Paul Stoddart said he was proud of the effort the team had put in under difficult circumstances, and thanked everyone for the support they have shown.

"I'm deeply touched by the level of support Minardi has received this weekend," he said. 2It really does show that Formula One is far more of a family than people realise, but most importantly, it shows just how popular a figure John Walton was in the F1 community.

"As for today's race, Minardi got one car to the chequered flag, thus bringing to a conclusion what has been an enormously difficult weekend. I'm sure most people will understand that we have had a great deal on our minds, and I'm truly proud of the effort the whole team has put in."