AUGUST 24, 2005
Shnaider tries again to sound serious
Clearly aware that he has a credibility problem in F1 circles, Jordan team owner Alex Shnaider is trying again to sound like a serious Formula 1 team owner with Bernie Ecclestone's official website Formula 1.com running an interview, trying to explain his strategy in Formula 1. Shnaider's acquisition of Jordan has been one of the mysteries of the 2005 season and the team has made little progress and there has been no obvious investment for the future. Despite this Shnaider says that "we are fans, and we are convinced that the whole concept of Formula 1 will change dramatically by 2008. The budget gap between manufacturer and private teams will decrease - that will enhance the chances of the smaller teams becoming more competitive".
Shnaider says that he is not actively looking for a buyer but has had an approach from a Russian sponsor to acquire shares in the team.
"We would have sold shares to this interested party if, as a result, a long-term commitment as a title sponsor would have evolved," he said. "We do not see the team as a profit centre Midland has to draw profits from."
Shnaider says that he is investing his own money in the team "on a scale that a board would have ousted me if Midland were a public company" and added that he is willing to go on investing "approximately the amount we will have invested by the end of this year". Shnaider says that this year he has been paying old bills, running the team and investing for the future so the budget has been stretched but he argues that everything has been "sufficiently financed". Our talks with team members suggest the opposite.
Shnaider also said that he is paying old bills.
"The only bills that have not been paid are those inflated ones," he says. "Obviously some tried to take advantage of the new management. We will not allow that. We are not willing to pay inflated or otherwise manipulated bills."
The team however hopes to open up new streams of revenue next year to help it build. Shnaider said that the team is not talking to Eddie Irvine and admits that he would like to have drivers with money next year.
Shnaider, however, says that he will not be selling the team before 2008 when he believes small teams will have more of a chance.
Time will tell.
Tariko and Irvine were once again touring the paddock in Istanbul.
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