The apparent falling out between the Minardi team and its main sponsor, bathroom company Wilux, has been blown out of proportion, according to the latter's managing director Ruud Wildschut.

Although Wildschut admits to being unhappy with the way in which he and his company were treated at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone, he has played down speculation that he may be about to pull the plug on his deal with Paul Stoddart's outfit.

The 'row' apparently grew out of Stoddart's decision to remove all sponsorship from the cars of Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner as a mark of respect for the late John Walton following his death on the eve of the British race, with Wildschut claiming that the decision was taken without any consultation. Rumours in various sections of the media go as far as suggesting that Wilux may pull its backing from the team, but Wildschut, in a conversation with former Minardi driver Jos Verstappen's personal website, insisted that this was not the case.

"There has been a difference of opinion over what happened to our stickers at Silverstone," he confirmed, "Basically, we were told that all sponsorship would be removed from the cars, and we were not happy about this. I asked to discuss the matter with the team, but that didn't happen. I sent a text message to Paul Stoddart protesting what was happening, but it made no difference."

Wildschut insisted that he was not being hard-hearted over the issue, and admitted that paying tribute to Walton was the right thing to do - but perhaps not at the expense of the team's sponsors which, after all, had paid for space on the cars. The two PS04s did not appear in first practice on Saturday morning at Silverstone, and then ran the race on Sunday with just tribute messages on its bodywork.

"Honouring John Walton was right," he said, "but we have our own interests to serve. If we had been asked, we may have been willing to step aside in favour of the tributes, but everything was just removed from the car, and we could do nothing about it."

Team boss Stoddart has apparently expressed his dismay that the problem has taken nearly two weeks to be aired, but insisted that he would be working to diffuse the situation. It was interesting to note, however, that all three Minardis ran without Wilux logos - which usually appear on the sidepods, rear wing and nose - in Friday's free practice sessions at Hockenheim, suggesting that the matter may not be that easily resolved.