FEBRUARY 13, 2002
Pollock and Jaguar?
At the moment stories are confused and contradictory and Pollock himself is keeping a low profile.
One scenario which has not been yet been put forward, but which makes a great deal of sense is for Pollock to offer Ford a deal which will get the Detroit firm out of F1 as a team owner. Ford has been cutting back dramatically in recent months and the F1 program seems rather excessive at a time when the company is planning to close five US factories and lay off 35,000 people. The idea of using F1 to promote the sales of Jaguar cars has been a controversial one for Dearborn executives since the start of the program but it was Jac Nasser's personal whim to follow that route and at the time no-one challenged the idea. Nasser is now gone and the new Ford management is not seen as being pro-competition.
The entire Jaguar Racing experience has shown to date that Ford cannot handle having direct control of a F1 program and there are some voices in the US arguing that it would be best to drop the Jaguar idea and return to Ford's traditional role of being an engine supplier. Pollock would be a perfect man to take over the team.
It is worth noting that there is a strong relationship hidden away between Pollock and Ford. Jacques Villeneuve is the only man to have won the Indianapolis 500 for the company in the last 15 years and he would no doubt jump at the chance of rejoining Pollock at the end of the coming season.
One thing is certain: there are not going to be any high expectations this year for Jaguar and so any new owner is not going to get the criticism...
This is largely speculation but it is something which would solve a lot of peoples' problems.