AUGUST 5, 2003
Jordan and Ford
Eddie Jordan has plenty of problems at the moment but the embarrassing Vodafone judgement is possibly not the worst of them, although it will have had an effect on Jordan's credibility within the sponsoring community. Jordan's biggest problem right now is that he needs an engine deal for 2004. He has been talking to both Ford and Mercedes-Benz but it seems that negotiations have not been very successful because Jordan is looking for the cheapest possible deal and the two car companies are trying to avoid being played off against one another. There is a further complication in that Ford Motor Company racing chief Richard Parry-Jones insists that a year ago Jordan Grand Prix signed a three-year engine supply deal and he says that Ford is not intending to renegotiate that arrangement.
At the announcement of the deal in August last year Jordan himself said that "we have signed a deal with Ford in a partnership arrangement which will be for three years. The car will be known as a Jordan-Ford."
Jordan went on to say that the deal was "something really quite innovative and different" and that "the future of motor racing is no longer just the opportunity to put stickers on a car" but there has been no obvious sign in the last 12 months of what that meant and clearly relationships are now pretty strained. Jordan has to pay for his engines and Ford sources indicate that there is no plan to cut the cost of the engine deal from around the current $20m because the money which flows in from customer engines goes towards boosting the Jaguar Racing budget. Without that money Jaguar could be under threat and that would also mean that Minardi's future would be clouded as well because if Jaguar Racing goes, it is unlikely that Cosworth Racing would continue in F1.
Jordan has hoped that Mercedes-Benz would supply him with an engine at around half the cost of the Ford deal and is, of course, looking for the cheapest possible deal but at the same time the two automobile companies are trying to avoid being played off against one another.
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