If Peugeot did come to F1?

THE rumors that Peugeot may be looking at returning to F1 in 2004 with its own team have created a number of different theories about the route the team would be likely to take. While Toyota decided to do its own thing and spend a huge amount of money to create an all-new base in Cologne - away from the core of the F1 industry - Peugeot is thought likely to adopt a rather more conservative approach and would probably follow Renault's course of action by buying an existing team in England.

The obvious thing to do would be to try to buy Jordan as the team is the best-placed of the existing operations and while not having absolutely the best facilities obviously has enough to do a good job. Additional investment would add to the staff and the equipment available.

Jordan has a Honda engine deal only until the end of 2002 although there are believed to be options for several years beyond that.

The other option would be to establish a team in France but have a British operation working on design and development. This would make a deal with John Barnard's B3 Technologies in Godalming seem like a sensible course of action.

The big question, before it comes to the details, is whether Peugeot wants to go back to F1. It is unfinished business for the French firm but it is also a risky step to be taking. If the rumors are serious the Peugeot board will have to discuss the issue before any moves are made.

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