JULY 7, 1997
Engine deals in place
JORDAN and Benetton are both expected to announce their 1998-99 engine deals at Silverstone this weekend. Jordan is expected to announce that it has concluded a two-year deal to run Mugen Honda V10s while Benetton will confirm that it will continue with Renault V10s, although these will be badged Mecachrome. Prost driver Shinji Nakano - a Mugen prot?g? - is expected to be named as Jordan's test driver for next season.
The announcements mean that the majority of the F1 teams now have engine deals in place: Williams and Benetton will use Mecachrome V10s; Ferrari will continue with its own V10s while Sauber will badge older Ferrari engines as Petronas V10s; McLaren will continue with Mercedes-Benz and Stewart with Ford; Jordan will swap engines with Prost - the French team getting Peugeots and Eddie Jordan landing Mugen Hondas.
Tyrrell is expected to use customer V10 engines, while Minardi is expected to use Hart V10s for one more year. The team in trouble would appear to be Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows which has failed to find an alternative to the disastrous Yamaha V10. Tom has his own F1 engine program under development and might even continue with Yamaha - the Japanese company's association with engine builder John Judd ends this year. While there is not doubt that Walkinshaw will find some kind of engine it is very unlikely that he will be able to keep hold of Damon Hill.
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