MAY 13, 1996
McLaren and Jordan block Footwork name change
WHEN Tom Walkinshaw bought a controlling interest in the Arrows team and launched "TWR F1" he hoped that he would be able to change the name of the cars from Footworks to Arrows - or perhaps another name.
There are only two ways in which this can be done: Walkinshaw can get around the problem by simply starting a new team but this will mean he will have to pay a $500,000 deposit to the FIA and would lose several million dollars more because the team would not be eligible for FOCA travel benefits for it's first six months in F1.
The only other way that Tom can change the name of the cars is if he can get all the other F1 teams owners to agree to let him change the name of the cars. In recent weeks this is what Tom has been trying to do, but these efforts are being blocked by McLaren and Jordan.
McLaren's Ron Dennis says he is refusing to sign because he does not want to create a precedent whereby teams with famous names can be altered at whim - depriving the sport, so Dennis says, of its heritage. This argument clearly does not apply to Footwork which is a far less "historical" than the Arrows name.
Eddie Jordan is also refusing to sign and will not say why he is blocking the move. We understand that Jordan feels that he was deprived of travel benefits at the end of 1993 when the Arrows team name was changed from Footwork Grand Prix International Ltd. to Arrows Grand Prix International Ltd. The Irishman is believed to holding out for a payment from Walkinshaw.
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