AUGUST 7, 2001
Lauda aims to breed success through Arrows
NIKI LAUDA has spoken out in favor of the decision by his department, Ford's Premier Performance Division, to split the efforts of Cosworth and Pi Research with the groups third arm, Jaguar Racing, and the Arrows team in 2002.
"They asked for it and they got it," Lauda explained. "Both Cosworth and Pi are profit centers, and if you have to have a profit center philosophy, then you have to establish your own business. So if the manpower and facilities are capable of doing it, then there's nothing left to do except move people around, to be able to support a second full engine deal and that's why I did it."
Cosworth was originally a specialist racing engine tuner in the 1960s preparing Formula Junior powerplants which were used successfully by Team Lotus and its clientele. The development of the Ford Cosworth DFV followed as Lotus boss Colin Chapman tied his need for the engine to be a stressed member of the chassis with the newly-founded Ford Europe's need for publicity, creating the most successful power plant in Formula 1 history.
Cosworth has changed hands several times in recent years, but remained synonymous with Ford's performance on road and track. Ford bought Stewart Grand Prix, Cosworth and Pi to establish its Premier Performance Division, and make a going concern out of its activities, which range from Formula Ford and one-make competition at the domestic level through CART and the World Rally Championship through to Formula 1 - although until the Arrows deal the most expensive area of expertise was also the only one which offered no return.
Lauda has defended any accusations of watering-down the Jaguar Racing effort as it struggles to establish itself in the points-chasing group alongside Jordan, BAR and Sauber by saying that the extra incentive of competing against Arrows on level ground can only aid the big cat's cause.
"I do believe that only competition can get you going," he said. "If Arrows is quicker than we are, then it's our own fault, because then their car is better. I'm driven by competition and not bull**** and this is my simple way of doing it. To not give an engine, or give a bad engine to somebody doesn't mean that we are going to go quicker. In my view it's quicker and more motivating with somebody else having the same engine."
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