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Emotional goodbye for Minardi


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The weather was appropriately funereal as the 21-year history of the Minardi team as an active participant in Formula One came to an end yesterday. It was the team's final day of running under its current name with the fourth day of testing at the Autodromo Vallelunga near Rome - from next season the team will be rebranded as the Squadra Torro Rosso.

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Under wintery sunshine, the day turned into a farewell party as a group of dedicated fans and supporters gathered to say goodbye to the team. Former Minardi drivers Mark Gene and Gianni Morbidelli were guests of honour - and the Minardi-branded "F1x2" two-seater cars were in action for high-speed guest rides, Morbidelli, Robert Doorbos and Patrick Friesacher handling the driving duties. Fittingly, it was down to Paul Stoddard, team boss for the last five years, to drive the final lap in a Minardi.

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"It turned out to be a more emotional experience than I expected," he said, "For so many years, Minardi has tried to give so much to so many, and it has been very touching this week to have received so many positive comments. Now the team has moved on to become Squadra Toro Rosso, I wish them every success, although I know I'm not alone in thinking it will always be Minardi in the minds of so many people. On a final note, Minardi is only what it is because of the people within the team, and I have enjoyed the best five years of my life working with some truly professional individuals. Thank you to all of them."

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The team - and the spirit it personified - will be missed.

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This is extrememly sad. Minardi have been in the sport for the last 20 years, and I always wanted them to do well, mainly because of the passion they brought to Formula 1.

They will be missed :cry:

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Yes I totally agree. I really din't want them to end even though I don't support them. They had a lot of good battles (even thogh they were at the back of the pack) and it was only getting better for them. They also signed upcoming drivers and then sold them to the big teams.

Minardi R.I.P.

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Yes I totally agree. I really din't want them to end even though I don't support them. They had a lot of good battles (even thogh they were at the back of the pack)  and it was only getting better for them. They also signed upcoming drivers and then sold them to the big teams.

Minardi R.I.P.

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Eg: Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber.

Alonso is the current World Champion, without Minardi would he have got his chance in the sport? Intruiging thought....

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Yep, money money money.

Just look at how many priveteer teams are left - none.

No Peter Sauber

No Eddie Jordan

No Paul Stoddart

Tis a shame really. Probably the best memory of Minardi is Mark Webbers 5th place in the 2002 Australian GP. Alex Young, could have had 6th, but he is the worst driver in any sport.

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Yep, money money money.

Just look at how many priveteer teams are left - none.

No Peter Sauber

No Eddie Jordan

No Paul Stoddart

Tis a shame really. Probably the best memory of Minardi is Mark Webbers 5th place in the 2002 Australian GP. Alex Young, could have had 6th, but he is the worst driver in any sport.

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Prost and Arrows also went bust :(

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