NOVEMBER 9, 2003
Villeneuve and Jaguar
The Canadian media are reporting that Jacques Villeneuve's manager Craig Pollock has hired a sports marketing firm called Slam Management to find money to help Villeneuve get the second seat at Jaguar Racing. It seems that Slam has had talks with around 30 companies to date but at the moment there have been no takers to sponsor the 1997 World Champion.
It is reported that the company is looking for $5m.
Alexander Wurz is believed to have the money to get the drive at Jaguar but he has a problem in that the $5m he has is from Austrian investment company Superfund and Jaguar's principal sponsor does not wish to have its logos and those of Superfund on the same car. Wurz could be a suitable compromise candidate for Red Bull but the Austrian drinks company wants to put Christian Klien into F1. Jaguar Racing is understood to think that Klien, who finished second in the Formula 3 Euroseries this year, is not ready for F1 and needs to build up more experience with more technical machinery.
It is worth noting that Jaguar has just filed its accounts for 2002, which reveal that there was a small increase in turnover and a small decrease in profit. The company had redundancy previsions of $2.75m, a driver termination fee provision of $3.5m and payments to Niki Lauda of $1.8m in salary and $3.5m in compensation. Lauda also received a further $1.8m from the Premier Performance Division and presumably a similar level of compensation.
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