SEPTEMBER 16, 2003
Jos and Jaguar Racing
Jos Verstappen and his sponsors have been shopping around in recent weeks looking at the available options for the Dutchman next season. The latest talks are believed to have been with Jaguar Racing which is likely to have a slot next year and which is rumored to be looking for a driver with some sponsorship behind him in order to ease the pressure on the team caused by the current economic pressures on the Ford Motor Company.
Minardi would like to keep Jos to drive one of the Arrows-build PS04 Minardis next year but no decision will be made until Jos has talked to teams which may have better cars and until he has tried the PS04 himself. That will happen later this week at Silverstone.
It is still likely to be several months before there are any decisions about the drivers at Minardi as the team's future is still not 100% guaranteed because of the delays in a decision between SLEC and the GPWC which will introduce a bigger TV payment for the smaller teams. If the current deals being discussed become reality the smaller teams will probably get around twice the money they have had in the past (which would mean something like $20m a year). There would also, almost certainly, be a reduction in the costs of engines of around $5m a year.
Team boss Paul Stoddart says that with two drivers bringing sponsorship he could then have a budget which would help Minardi to do more than just survive and better results would in theory at least mean that getting more sponsorship would be an easier task.
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