SEPTEMBER 15, 2002
Jaguar decision this week
The Ford Motor Company will decide later this week what it intends to do with the Jaguar Racing Formula 1 program. And all the signs are that Jaguar will get the go-ahead to go on racing in green. The option would be for the company to sell the team off to Red Bull to create the much-vaunted Red Bull Team USA and concentrate on being an engine supplier with the blue Ford oval.
A decision to stay with the Jaguar brand will mean Ford will have to spend more on its peripheral activities in F1, supporting the sponsorship of Jaguar and of Ford (which will be seen on the Jordans next year). It seems however that the men in Detroit are happy with this and that Ford Europe will have to stump up the cash to support the Jordan campaign. Although Ford says this will have no effect on the World Rally Championship program it seems likely that the salary of Colin McRae is going to take a big hit. McRae is threatening to sign for Citroen but insiders say that this would be a disastrous move and that McRae will eventually come round to understanding that it is time to take a drop in pay.
This leaves the odd situation in which Red Bull has no obvious place to go which fulfils its desires in F1. Arrows might be an option if the team is still in existence but the debt problems continue to strangle the team. In the circumstances one can see a renewed deal with Sauber for another year or, perhaps, an arrangement with Eddie Jordan.
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