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Shnaider hits back at media "bullshit"

NEWS STORY
21/04/2006

Despite having had his team issue a press release in which it declared it was "alive and well" and not about to sell-out or go out of business, Midland F1 boss, Alex Shnaider is still seething.

In an interview with Canada's Globe and Mail, the Russian-born Canadian blasted the media for its continual inaccurate reporting and speculation regarding the team, which he bought in early 2005.

"I wonder what their motivation is for spreading this bullshit, and why they never seem to grow tired of publishing the same lies, over and over again," he said. "The fact is, despite the constant rumours, I have not sold the team and it continues to operate at a healthy level.

"It's lazy, irresponsible journalism," he continued, "and in the end, the lies only serve to damage their own credibility. The media writing these rumours should go back and analyze everything they wrote about us last year and see whether anything they reported happened."

Days after issuing the 'alive and well' release, the team revealed that it is embarking on a major upgrade to its wind tunnel facilities.

However, the surprise departure of a couple of key members of the team, the demand for places on the 2008 F1 grid, and, until recently, a lack of real info from within the team, has led to some wild speculation, not helped by the fact that some magazines, newspapers and websites rely on sensational headlines.

"I will continue investing in the team for as long as I'm passionate about competing in the sport," said Shnaider, "and given that I've loved F1 since my childhood, I don't see that enthusiasm fading any time soon.

"It frustrates me when people say we're not investing in the team, because we've been investing non-stop since we bought it."

Referring to 'staff movement' within he team, he added: "Certain people we brought to the team and certain people we inherited with the team were detrimental to MF1's development because they were following their own agendas instead of promoting the team's interests.

"Unfortunately, I can infer from the latest round of rumours that some of these people are still pursuing those agendas."

Referring to a story in the Spanish newspaper Marca, in which GP2 team, Racing Engineering, owner, Alfonso de Orleans Borbon, claimed he was interested in purchasing Midland, and planned a meeting with its owner, Shnaider said: "I find quite amusing. I spoke to this Spanish gentleman once, at last year's Turkish Grand Prix, because he wanted to introduce to me to someone who was interested in buying steel.

"But we never spoke about the sale of the team, not once," he added, "Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I was interested in buying a soccer club, wouldn't it make sense for me to speak to the owners of the team about it first, before going to the media?"

However, Shnaider admits that some of the blame for the ongoing speculation lies at his own door, for it was shortly after purchasing Midland in 2005 that he said that should the right offer come along he would be willing to sell the team.

"I made a comment to that effect last year and it keeps coming back to bite me," he admits, "but I stand by what I said because it's common sense.

"Even Ferrari could be sold tomorrow if someone would offer Fiat enough money for it. The same is true for every team on the grid, without exception."

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