Alex Shnaider: welcome to F1

The sale of Jordan Grand Prix to the Midland Group marked the end of an era. Not only did it draw the curtain on Eddie Jordan's colourful 14-year period at the helm, it heralded the arrival of a major new figure in the F1 paddock in the form of Alex Shnaider

Alex Shnaider: welcome to F1

The Russian-born Canadian billionaire had originally intended to set up his own F1 team from scratch, but ultimately decided it made more sense to take over an existing team as a 'going concern', thus enabling him to avoid paying the $48m (£25.5m) deposit bond required by the FIA of any brand-new team whilst also giving him access to Jordan's share of F1 TV revenues.

All the same, Shnaider leaves little doubt that he intends to stamp his own identity and authority on the organisation. He does not expect to work miracles overnight, but exudes a calm confidence that - with the aid of the expected major capital injection - the team will gradually climb up the F1 food chain.

Autosport's Anthony Rowlinson exclusively spoke to Shnaider about the reasons behind his purchase of Jordan and his objectives for his first F1 season.



It's extremely satisfying and exciting that we have concluded that deal. But I know that the job starts now. We have a lot of hard work in front of us.

We own 100 percent of Jordan Grand Prix. Eddie Jordan will remain involved commercially on certain matters. Our plans with Dallara are continuing and we will have our car. The plan is for 2006. We will keep the name Jordan and we are planning to change it to Midland for 2006.



We looked at Jaguar but we decided it was not right for us. There were too many people and they didn't own their own factory. Then the opportunity with Jordan came about. We saw that we had the opportunity to buy an existing team rather than setting up a new one and we were advised that would make a lot of sense.



They are a good fit, that's for certain. We bought Jordan for commercial reasons. It was a good fit. We have bought intellectual property rights, too, as well as the infrastructure and that has given us an extra year head start on the Midland F1 programme. That's an extra year's learning experience that we wouldn't have been able to achieve if we had set up our own team.

We kept the name because we knew that with time so short before the start of the season we could not really change anything to the car or the team, so we decided there was no point in changing the name.



It's hard to say what people will think of us. We will have to prove ourselves - a lot of work has to be done. We will have to evaluate all the strong points that Jordan Grand Prix has and try to fix the weak points. We also need to invest into the team and reorganise things within it. We have to move up the grid and improve the team.



Realistically I don't think we will improve much on what was achieved last year. There has not been much done to the car, as we know. Work has only just begun and there are new engines that are supposed to be delivered. There is a lot to do.

In the first few races we do not expect to achieve much better results than were achieved last year, but as the season progresses some improvements will be able to be made.



I love the sport. I am a huge fan of Formula 1. It is a global sport, which fits well with Midland's interests. It's something I like much more than other sports. Commercially I do not think it's a risky place to be either. Things are improving and there is a new Concorde Agreement being discussed. I am hopeful that the deficit between the biggest and the smaller teams can be reduced.



We do not spend money unwisely. We don't throw money away. We look to outsource to companies that are able to offer a good service and try not to re-invent the wheel ourselves. We want to learn from other people's successes and not repeat their failures. We will spend money and budget wisely. We put in a lot of hard work and a great deal of attention to detail.

shares
comments
Montoya tries out MP4-20

Previous article

Montoya tries out MP4-20

Next article

Midland Confident of Keeping B&H Sponsorship

Midland Confident of Keeping B&H Sponsorship
Load comments
How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021