Analysis: Cosworth Future Looks Safe

Cosworth's future in Formula One almost certainly appears to have been guaranteed until at least the end of 2007, after the completion of their deal with Minardi to run V10 engines

There had been fears that, with Red Bull Racing having decided to switch to Ferrari engines for next season, Cosworth would be forced to cease their F1 activities if a replacement deal could not be put on the table.

But Minardi's announcement on Tuesday, that they would use V10 engines for next year, has ended short-term doubts about the company's future.

Although the team said the deal was for one year with an option for 2007, sources have told Autosport-Atlas that the partnership will 'almost definitely' run for the next two years.

That scenario means that Cosworth will retain their presence in Grand Prix racing until the end of 2007, even if it is uncertain yet whether or not it will conclude a deal to supply V8 engines to a team for next year.

The company's most obvious target for a V8 deal would be with Williams if the Grove-based outfit's deal with BMW comes to an end. Beyond that team, however, the only other realistic option is Jordan.

Maintaining a presence in F1 until the end of 2007 is politically significant because that date coincides with the end of the current Concorde Agreement, the document by which F1 is run.

There is a great deal of uncertainty about what shape the sport will take from the start of 2008, amid threats of a manufacturer breakaway, and clearly Cosworth's continued activities in the sport will put it in a strong position to secure engine deals for either major series.

Even though Cosworth does not have a V8 deal on the table yet, the company has been pressing on with the build of the new power-unit, which is now nearing completion.

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