JULY 14, 2001
Walkinshaw refuses to confirm Cosworth engine deal
DESPITE the fact that his engine deal with Cosworth has been completed for some weeks, Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw still refuses to confirm that the deal is agreed and the only logical explanation for this is that Tom is busy trying to raise the money for the deal or is trying to find a naming sponsor for the engine so that he can a branded engine.
Cosworth, in the meantime, has moved on and is now pushing hard to do a third engine deal. This would help to offset the costs incurred by the Jaguar Racing F1 program and is therefore seen to be a good thing in the Ford Motor Company hierarchy. At the moment there are only two teams which could do a deal with Cosworth: Minardi and Prost, and neither one of them seems to be in a hurry to make any moves. Prost is unlikely to do an engine deal with Cosworth and our sources suggest that there are is still some kind of a Prost-Asiatech-Renault alliance being discussed in which Asiatech would get a share of the company and the team would be run by Enrique Scalabroni. Renault is keen to have a secondary team but the complexities of doing a deal with Prost are delaying matters. Thus the obvious candidate for Ford is Minardi, although the team is currently being bombarded by offers and team boss Paul Stoddart is wily enough to know that it is probably a good time to sit and wait and see what offers come along.
At the moment Ferrari cannot make a definite offer but by the end of July the relationship with Prost could terminate and Jean Todt would then be free to offer Minardi the third supply of Ferrari V10 engines. This would be a big boost for Minardi and could result in the team being able to find some serious sponsorship.
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