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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Minardi celebrate with Baumgartner

June 21, 2004 11:58 IST

Minardi dared to dream on Sunday after Hungarian Zsolt Baumgartner handed the struggling Formula One team their first point in 41 races.

"For us it's just a fantastic result, the guys pick up so much motivation from something like this," Australian owner Paul Stoddart told reporters after Baumgartner finished eighth at the U.S. Grand Prix.

"It lifts the team so much that we can live off this point for the rest of the year, although I do actually believe the way this season is going that you wouldn't exclude us sneaking one more before the year's out.

"There's some interesting races still to come, we've got China where nobody's seen the track and Brazil which can throw down rain."

Baumgartner, rated little more than a journeyman driver at a team operating on a tiny budget and in desperate need of funds, made his mark in Formula One history as the first Hungarian to score a point.

"It's like a miracle happened today," he said. "We were close in Monaco and now we've scored here. I couldn't be happier."

Stoddart's team last scored a point with Australian Mark Webber in Melbourne in March 2002 and the team's surprise appearance on the scoresheet, albeit as the last runner some three laps behind the leader, was cause for a celebration. "You can't believe the people who have walked down here to say congratulations, from (Formula One supremo) Bernie Ecclestone coming down to drink champagne with us through to just about everybody in every team," said Stoddart.

"Minardi is clearly everybody's second favourite team and I don't think anybody is sad that we got a point."

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