Industrial deadlines...

Now is the time of year when engine builders are bolting together next year's engines for the first time, prior to putting them onto the dynos to see whether or not the designs really do produce the horsepower which the calculations suggest they will do. From the middle of August the emphasis switches to production schedules. This may be boring but it is very significant as the F1 teams maneuver about trying to decide on engine deals for next year.

Sources at Cosworth Racing, for example, say that there is no problem supplying four teams with engines next year but in order to do that the four teams concerned will all need to make a commitment by the middle of August. In other words between now and Hungary. The likelihood of Jaguar Racing, Arrows, Jordan and Minardi all being in a position to sign on the dotted line is very slim and so Cosworth is unlikely to go ahead with production planning for four engine supplies. There is a similar deadline in the autumn for the possibility of three supplies as the manufacture of parts needs to begin by then.

In other words, decisions are needed - and quickly.

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