Minardi-Ferrari - no deal

JEAN TODT has also won another battle in recent days, defeating Giancarlo Minardi's attempts to convince Fiat that his team should use the Ferrari V12 engines next season when the Ferrari factory team moves over to running V10s.

Minardi had been bargaining on strong connections within the Fiat empire to convince Ferrari to supply him with the old engines, but Todt was always against the idea, reckoning that it would dilute the efforts of Ferrari and its suppliers.

The Ferrari management appears to agree with Todt that winning is essential in 1996 - with Michael Schumacher being paid a vast retainer - and that nothing must stand in the way of that.

The decision leaves Minardi in a difficult situation once again but we hear that he is busy trying to convince Ford that it should supply him with the new V10 engines, being introduced with Sauber next year. Once again Minardi has little chance of success as Ford wants to concentrate on getting the job done with Sauber rather than splitting its efforts.

This leaves Minardi looking at a future with Ford customer V8 engines once again. Cosworth is understood to be offering three different packages, depending on how much money teams have available. The cheapest option will be a uprated version of the HB V8; if teams have more money there is the option of a supply of the Zetec-R and if there is serious investment available Cosworth engineers have a completely new V8 engine - codenamed JS - which could be introduced.

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