OCTOBER 13, 1997
Tyrrell climbs down but future looks up
Tyrrell's decision appears to have been a financial one and rumors in the paddock at Suzuka suggested that the team has debts of around $1.5m. As we predicted in August the team announced a major new sponsorship deal with the YKK zipper company. This is the world's largest manufacturer of fasteners. It employs 33,000 in 47 countries and has a turnover of $6Êbillion. The deal was brokered by the advertising agency McCann-Erickson.
Tyrrell has yet to officially confirm that it has signed up for a share of the F1 television money but the estimated $12m which the deal brings will certainly help the team over its current problems. The confirmation that test driver Tora Takagi will be racing with the team next year is going to bring two new backers from Japan and talks are rumored to be taking place with another major European company for another big deal.
The 23-year-old has been the team's test driver this year and has completed 1200 miles of running. Takagi is a prot?g? of former Tyrrell driver Satoru Nakajima, who is officially the team's sporting director - although he has not been seen at many races this year.