Australian businessman Paul Stoddart has bought Minardi for an undisclosed figure, the Italian Formula One team announced today. Stoddart, a Grand Prix fan with a collection of old racing cars, runs the European Aviation Group and also a Formula 3000 team.

"With immediate effect, Minardi's Faenza operation will be 'dovetailed' with European's extensively equipped Formula One manufacturing facility in Ledbury, England," the Minardi statement said. "The intention is to operate the Italian and UK facilities in tandem and not to relocate the team to England."

Stoddart had been expected to buy the team last week, describing himself as their last chance to race this season, but the deal was delayed. Minardi said this season's car would be powered by a European V10 engine, an updated version of the Ford-based Fondmetal used by them last year. (Reuters)

Filed by Shane Murray