SEPTEMBER 8, 1997
BAT changes direction
AFTER months of talk about a new Formula 1 super team involving Adrian Reynard, Craig Pollock and British American Tobacco, it seems that BAT has decided to look at other possibilities. If paddock rumor in Italy is to be believed it is now aiming to strike a deal with Benetton, a move which will make the team immediately competitive.
There is no doubt that BAT as a company remains committed to entering F1 - to promote its cigarette brands around the world - but has reconsidered how best this can be achieved and has realized that trying to create a new team is simply too complicated and expensive and will take too long to be competitive. Buying into an existing team - even if that means that BAT cannot be the major shareholder - is a better option.
The planned launch of the program at the Luxembourg Grand Prix is thus unlikely to take place and it may be some months before a deal is finally put together.
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