Buoyed by the fact that the nine teams he had helped bring together to talk over the future of the sport had agreed to press on with cost-cutting measures for 2005, Minardi boss Paul Stoddart revealed that he had already submitted the Italian squad's entry for next season.

Stoddart has never implied that any scenario other than Minardi being on the 2005 grid was in prospect, but the fact that eight of his rivals had agreed to reduce testing by a minimum of 50 per cent next season, and push ahead with other cost-cutting initiatives, merely served to confirm his intentions. The submission of the entry comes in spite of the fact that the only engines he has are ageing Minardi-owned Cosworth units, following Ford's withdrawal from F1, but Stoddart was feeling confident enough to confirm his participation in 2005 upon exiting the Heathrow summit yesterday [Tuesday].

The Australian revealed that he had entered under the name Minardi European to cover the various powerplant possibilities open to him, as Ford seeks a buyer for Cosworth. Should someone step forward to take on the British company, Stoddart has a deal to use current V10s, but has said that he is prepared to revert to the 2001 units used to power the PS01s of Alex Yoong and Tarso Marques.



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