BAR confirms split with Supertec

British American Racing is to dump the Supertec V10 engine at the end of 1999, just halfway through their contract with the much-maligned engine supplier

BAR confirms split with Supertec

The decision was due to be announced at the Monaco Grand Prix along with confirmation of a deal to run works Honda engines, but were forced to postpone the announcement when a political storm erupted over the issue.

Honda had angered the F1 teams by deciding not to enter their own factory team, despite being allocated a space on the grid in the latest draft of the F1 constitution.

Rumours suggested the Honda hierarchy was so worried by the bad publicity that they might abandon the deal at the last minute, but today's announcement all but confirms that BAR will be a Honda powered team in 2000.

However, both BAR and Supertec refused to confirm their future plans.

'We have been very pleased with the engine, but the deal with Supertec did not allow us to develop a long-term strategy and we could not reach an agreement on this issue,' said BAR boss Craig Pollock.

'We have mutually agreed not to extend the engine supply partnership for a second year.'

'We have come to an entirely amicable arrangement and our relationship with Supertec will carry on with professionalism for the remainder of the 1999 season,' he insisted.

'We will reveal our engine supply plans in due course.'

Supertec president Flavio Briatore was also conspicuously restrained in his statement on the issue:

'We both found that our strategies for the future might be diverging at some point,' he said, 'I can only wish BAR the best of luck in the future.

'Happily we have an excellent product and a number of other Formula One teams have expressed an interest in securing a supply of Supertec engine. We will outline our future strategy later in the year.'

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