The future of Asiatech - if there is one

THE Asiatech engine company looks to be in trouble with none of the Formula 1 teams showing much interest in using the French-built engines next year - even if they are supplied free of charge.

Asiatech, formerly known as Peugeot Sport, has failed to impress this year with Arrows and although plans are advanced for a better engine next season (and a completely new V10 in 2003) there is no sign that the organization will be able to find a team to supply.

In the longer term Asiatech plans to buy a team but the organization does not currently have the cash to do that. However this may become the only option and Asiatech's chief executive John Gano flew to Asia last week to talk to investors about the best course of action. Even buying into a team will not be easy because not much is available. Half the Arrows team is on sale but it is doubtful that anyone will want to go into such an arrangement as day-to-day control of the operation would remain with Tom Walkinshaw.

The obvious move would be for Asiatech to buy into Prost Grand Prix. The two organizations are based a few miles apart in Paris but the relationship between the two in the days of the Prost-Peugeot combination was so bad that such an alliance might lead to mass defections from Prost.

Arrows is out of the picture next year having done a deal with Cosworth and so the only real option for Asiatech is a deal with Minardi and team boss Paul Stoddart has interesting offers from Ferrari and Ford.

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