Paul Stoddart: Talented riders can be seen immediatelyApril 22, 2019
Australian Paul Stoddart was the owner and leader of Minardi from 2001 to 2005, and at that time two drivers made their debut on his team, later becoming Formula 1 stars and world motor sport in general.
When he was asked which of the Minardi pilots he considered the best, Stoddart replied: “Everyone will call Fernando Alonso right away. Perhaps it is, but Mark Webber spoke at almost the same high level. In 2010, it was Mark who was supposed to be the world champion. “
According to him, talented and promising riders very quickly attract general attention: “When a new racer joins the team, then if he is special, it is immediately noticeable. Look, for example, at Max Verstappen.
All the guys who act in the world championship, in their own good, otherwise they would not have made their way into Formula 1. But you immediately pay attention to the exceptionally gifted pilots, as soon as you see them on the road behind the wheel of a car. Mark and Fernando were special. And according to Max, it’s perfectly clear that his father’s racing genes were passed on to him. ”
Stoddart knows what he is talking about: he met Jos Verstappen back in 1997, when his company European Aviation became a sponsor of Tyrrell, and the Dutchman was in favor of this team. A few years later Verstappen Sr. signed a contract with Minardi, but this was his last season in Formula 1.
By the way, it was then, in 2003, that Paul Stoddart saw the young Max Verstappen for the first time: “I can tell an interesting story. Once, in 2003, we conducted demonstration runs of a two-seater Minardi car at the Rockingham circuit. There was Max, and he wanted to drive on a new simulator, which we brought there.
Max said to Yosu: “Dad, Dad, I want to play!” Jos decided to compete with him – guess who won? Of course, Max, who was then 6 years old. Further comments are unnecessary … “
In the fall of 2005, Stoddart sold Minardi to Dietrich Mateschitz, co-owner of Red Bull, and now for the 14th season, this team appears in Formula 1 as Toro Rosso.
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