APRIL 10, 2000
Changes coming at Jaguar
THERE were a lot of rumors in the paddock at Imola that there will soon be management changes at Jaguar Racing with the suggestion being that many of the old Stewart Grand Prix faces will disappear and be replaced by Ford appointees. There is, however, no hint as to who will take over the actually day-to-day running of the operation as the people that Jaguar appear to want are not available until the end of the season - at the earliest.
The speculation continues to suggest that ultimately the team will end up being run by Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn. The feeling in the paddock (whether it is correct or not) is that the team is actually not being run by anyone at the moment and this helps to explain the disappointing showing to date. This is probably an overly-harsh judgement as there are some highly experienced managers within the organization but they are not getting the necessary guidance from top management. The team chairman Neil Ressler has other jobs in the Ford Motor Company and cannot spend all his time making the F1 team work and it may be that Ford will decide to bring someone else in to run the team until Brawn is available. The problem is that there are few obvious candidates, although Martin Whitaker who has been looking after Ford's rallying in recent months is an obvious candidate for that job.
At the same time there are a lot of rumors suggesting that both technical Gary Anderson and driver Johnny Herbert may find themselves out of work. Replacing Anderson would not be a good idea because there is no obvious replacement available at the moment and while the team test driver Luciano Burti might be drafted in to replace Herbert, the team cannot really blame the driver as Johnny's car has been disastrously unreliable so far this year.
Whatever the details there is no doubt that changes are ahead. The big question is when...
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