JULY 15, 2005
David Richards and Jordan
There have been some rumours in recent days linking former Benetton and BAR boss David Richards with a deal to acquire the struggling Jordan F1 team as the current owners Midland seem to be going nowhere in no particular hurry. The team has yet to confirm its engines for 2006 and there is no sign of any investment being made by Midland amid rumours that some of the partners in the business are opposed to the F1 project.
The F1 authorities are very keen that Jordan be kept alive because they do not want the field to drop below 20 cars and while there is still talk going on with Eddie Irvine and his Russian backer Roustam Tariko, it seems that Richards is also involved and is trying to put together a deal to acquire a team, rather than working for someone else.
There have been other rumours suggesting that Richards is hoping to lure Korea's Hyundai into F1 with backing from Samsung.
There is no doubt that Hyundai does have big ambitions which include F1 if it is possible. The company has been growing rapidly in recent years following the break-up of the old Hyundai industrial empire into five different companies in 2003. Until 2004 Hyundai was competing (unsuccessfully) in the World Rally Championship, so Richards has the necessary contacts.
Whether Samsung might also be involved is quite another matter. Samsung and Hyundai have traditionally been bitter rivals but since the Hyundai break-up Samsung has reigned supreme as Korea's top industrial group. There is no doubt that Samsung has been sniffing around F1 recently but it remains to be seen whether there will be a deal with a different team.
The rival LG company is also said to be looking seriously at F1 sponsorship.
Korean interest in F1 is growing and it should not be forgotten that there is a deal in place for there to be an F1 race in Korea in 2009.
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