JULY 12, 1999

Supertec for Arrows

THE Arrows team has announced plans to use Supertec V10 engines in 2000. The deal - which the team had denied it was planning - will mean that team boss Tom Walkinshaw is giving up his own engine program. This will result in a number of well-known engine designers becoming available in the weeks ahead.

Walkinshaw said that he felt it was necessary to switch engines because to be competitive a team needs to have an engine which "has been developed by a major manufacturer".

The Supertec V10 engine was designed by Renault Sport three years ago and is - in theory - being developed by Renault Sport engineers on commercial terms. The money for development is coming from Flavio Briatore's Supertec company although there has been little evidence that much has been done this year. The engines are not very competitive and have not been reliable.

The 2000 engine is being called the FB02 but it is not expected to be very new.

One rumor we heard at Silverstone is that Minardi - which is likely to be a Supertec customer - may be trying to negotiate an engine deal with Ferrari.