Stoddart thinking about a return to F1

Paul Stoddart, former boss of Minardi, has revealed that despite being unhappy with the current state of Formula One, he is still tempted to return to the sport.

Stoddart has been out of the Formula 1 game since 2005 when he sold Minardi to Red Bull. However having decided not to move his Champ Car team to the IRL series this year has left him without any full-time commitments and he has admitted that F1 is a tempting option so tempting that he even considered making a bid for Super Aguri had their current financial deal fallen through.

Stoddart has also revealed that he would prefer to return to F1 if FIA president Max Mosley was no longer involved in the sport unfortunately for Stoddart, this could be a long time given Mosley s recent announcement that he has no intention of retiring and would like to run as FIA president for a further term.

Autosport recently caught up with Stoddart and asked him if he had considered a return. “I have,” he replied. “Just recently I looked at coming back through Super Aguri and I will probably look at it again if the opportunity comes. But the reality is it will be quite hard for me to come back if Max is still there.

“But I am not discounting the possibility of doing something between now and before he goes if the right opportunity comes along. The through of sending Max an email saying, Hi Max, I m back! is incredibly tempting but I won t be stupid about it.

“That opportunity does not exist today, however. If a team were to come onto the market at a sensible price that I felt I could do something with, the yes I would be interested. In starting a new team, possibly not at the moment, there is a monumental difference between starting a new team and taking an existing one all kinds of financial differences.

“So if you ask me if I would be interested in starting a new team? Not until Mosley has gone. Would I be interested in buying an existing team? If the right opportunity came along, I would definitely be interested.”

Stoddart has been thinking about a return to F1 for a while he was one of the people who put their names forward to build a new 12th team for the 2008 F1 season, but he eventually lost out to Prodrive. Prodrive will now not be starting the 2008 season thanks to the continuing row over the legality of customer cars. Stoddart believes that had he been given the slot instead of Prodrive, he would be starting the 2008 season.

“I tell you, the difference is I would have been there,” Stoddart continued. “That 12th slot may still be open but until or unless a new Concorde Agreement is signed, you won t know what the game plan is going to be, what the rules of engagement are going to be.”