AUGUST 13, 2003
Jordan and Ford in F1
The relationship between Jordan Grand Prix and the Ford Motor Company is strained at the moment as the two parties negotiate around their engine deal for 2004. Both sides have their backs to the wall as Ford needs the income from its customer programs with Jordan and Minardi to help fund its engine program for Jaguar Racing and Jordan is trying to pay less for a more competitive engine. We hear that Ford has offered Jordan a cheaper deal for next year and that the engine bill will come to $19m although $5m of this will be coming in sponsorship from Ford Europe.
Jordan appears to think that he can get a cheaper engine deal from Mercedes-Benz although there is some doubt as to whether the German company ever actually agreed to the much-vaunted 10m Euros (currently $11.2m) supply of engines for the smaller teams, discussed in January by Mercedes-Benz boss Jurgen Hubbert when he was trying to make the manufacturer-backed Grand Prix World Championship (GPWC) organization look more like a force to be reckoned with.
Mercedes would prefer not to detract from its efforts with McLaren in 2004 and certainly does not want to undermine Ford's presence in F1 as the Detroit giant is a key member of the GPWC.
Ford insists that Jordan is bound by his contract and we hear that Mercedes-Benz has politely declined to supply EJ with engines but it seems that Jordan has made complaints about this, not only to the FIA but also to other authorities outside the sport.
This will obviously not help find a compromise between the parties involved.
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