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A problem for BAR

THE financial details of the new Concorde Agreement remain a mystery but there is no doubt that at least some of the benefits will only be paid out to the top 10 teams, based on their performances in the previous two half-seasons. At the moment the team which is not getting all the benefits is Minardi but this will change after the French Grand Prix unless Tyrrell can score a top six finish. If not Tyrrell becomes the 11th team because in the last eight races of 1997 and the first eight of 1998 it has not done as well as the Minardi operation.

At the moment the Italian team has collected a seventh, an eighth, a ninth and a 10th place in the last 15 races. In the same period Tyrrell has managed only one eighth place and two 10ths which means that unless there is an unexpected result in France Tyrrell will have to pay its own freight costs for the remainder of the season. This will mean that money will be taken out of the development budget and that means that results will be even less likely to happen. If the team does not do better in the second half of the year British American Racing may have to start 1999 without benefits. In an effort to bolster Tyrrell without spending too much money BAR is looking at dropping pay-driver Ricardo Rosset, who is not currently performing very well, and replacing him with a faster driver without sponsorship.

Our spies in Italy report that the Tyrrell team went testing last week at Monza with Tom Kristensen driving and may be planning to put the unsponsored Dane into the second car to give the team a better chance of a good result in the races ahead.

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