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NOVEMBER 3, 1997

TWR Yamaha - an announcement shortly

THE Yamaha Motor Company is expected to announce within days that it is continuing its relationship with Tom Walkinshaw's Arrows team in Formula 1 and that there will be a completely new V10 engine for the 1998 season. It is no secret in Formula 1 circles that this is, in fact, a complete change in policy for the Japanese engine building company which has had a disastrous time in Grand Prix racing.

For the last five years Yamaha has been linked with John Judd's Engine Developments company in Rugby, which has designed and built the Yamaha V10 engines with assistance from Yamaha research & development engineers in Japan. These have not been successful and this year TWR engineers have been involved in the development of the engines. As a result they have become much more reliable.

The new Yamaha V10 will be a completely new engine, however, and is based on the design which Brian Hart has been working on in the course of the last year. Hart is expected to supply his design and his manufacturing capabilities to the project while TWR and Yamaha engineers will develop the engines. The TWR Engine Department at Leafield has just launched a major recruitment drive with the intention being to put together a team to take the design onwards in the future. This will be funded by Yamaha, although it will be interesting to see how long the new deal is intended to last.

Yamaha's involvement will be primarily financial although we expect that the TWR team will include a number of Yamaha engineers. We also expect TWR engineers to use Yamaha's computer capability, the calculation involved in modern F1 engines behind one of the primary difficulties for the smaller engine-building companies.

Yamaha is keen to change its current image in F1 after years of poor results and is hoping that the success it has enjoyed over many years in motorcycle racing can be mirrored in four-wheel competition. With Honda expected to return to F1 in the year 2000, this may be Yamaha's last chance to make it in the F1 big time.