JANUARY 6, 2005

Jordan Grand Prix off the market?

The word on the street at Silverstone is that Jordan Grand Prix is not for sale after the failure of negotiations between Eddie Jordan and Christian Horner of the Arden International Formula 3000 team. There has been vague talk of deals with Midland F1 and with a mysterious Chinese backer but the latest suggestion is that Jordan is going to go it alone and wait until the value of the F1 teams increase. Both Bernie Ecclestone and the GPWC are promising big payments for Formula 1 teams which join them. The value of the teams is uncertain because of the uncertainties which hang over the sport.

The problem for Jordan is getting the budget necessary to run in 2005 although his situation is probably a little easier than in 2004 because his engine bill will be less than before. Last year Jordan is believed to have been paying around $17m to Cosworth Racing for his supply of V10 engines. This year he will have Toyotas and it is thought that the cost will be down to around $10m. Jordan can rely on money from the Formula One group, which will bring in around $12m, and there will be money coming from Benson & Hedges, although this is likely to be less than last year given that the tobacco company will probably have to stop its F1 activities at the end of July in order to fall into line with the new UK laws on tobacco sponsorship. However it is highly likely that Jordan will also be getting some form of settlement from the Ford Motor Company over its decision to stop all involvement in F1. This could be a substantial sum of money. In addition to that the team will have three pay-drivers and the latest rumours suggest that Timo Glock will benefit to the tune of $14m from the DHL Speed Academy while Holland's Robert Doornbos is tipped as the other driver and will probably bring around $7m. An additional $2m will come from the third driver although there is not yet any word on who this might be. All this means that Jordan will probably have a budget which is at the same sort of level as in 2004, when the team is believed to got through $47m.