JANUARY 16, 2005
Anderson to be technical director of Midland-Jordan?
There are reports that Eddie Jordan has sold his Formula 1 team to the new Midland F1 operation and we hear that Gary Anderson will be the technical director of the new operation. If the news is confirmed Anderson will be working once again with designer Mark Smith, who was his deputy at Jordan 14 years ago when the pair designed the first Jordan F1 car.
The purchase of Jordan by Midland has been rumoured for some time but at the moment there has been no official confirmation although a deal makes complete sense as Midland would otherwise have to wait three years before receiving any money from Formula One Management. This is in the order of $50m over three years and so buying Jordan would be akin to buying a big chunk of income and a few facilities and staff thrown in. There will need to be a lot of investment in Jordan but there are plans and planning permission for a new factory and a windtunnel at the team's Silverstone base. Eddie Jordan might have tried to use this money to raise the price of the shares but he was not in a great position to bargain because without a buyer he would have had to use that money to operate the team. By selling up he will be able to put a tidy sum of money into his own bank accounts and can leave the funding of the team to the Russians. It looks as though if the deal is concluded Jordan will still retain some kind of role with the team before it takes on a totally Russian aspect. It is likely that this will be a temporary measure which will allow Jordan to concentrate his time on finding a new role for himself in life. He has ideas of a role as a form of F1 ambassador, promoting the sport by organising promotional events (specifically concerts) around F1 and will no doubt be keen to continue to try to build up the Jordan brand.
If the deal is confirmed with Midland, Russian influence in the sport will increase dramatically and we can expect to see much more serious bids for there to be a Russian GP.
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