Wednesday 28th February 2001
Under the ownership of Paul Stoddart, Minardi won its race against time to launch its new car just days ahead of the opening race of the season. The car was revealed with few sponsors on it and the team admitted it team was still in the hunt for a major backer. Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques were the team’s drivers but Stoddart didn’t have particularly high expectations heading into the first race. “Even if just one of the cars finishes the race on Sunday, then for us it will be like winning the World Championship,” he said. As it happened Alonso finished the race 12th, albeit two laps down, after a race of high attrition.