Cosworth Close to Sale as Jaguar Face Nervous Wait

Ford-owned engine maker Cosworth will soon be sold while Jaguar's future could be decided this week, according to team head Tony Purnell.

Cosworth Close to Sale as Jaguar Face Nervous Wait

Ford-owned engine maker Cosworth will soon be sold while Jaguar's future could be decided this week, according to team head Tony Purnell.

Both are up for sale after Ford announced last month that it was pulling out of Formula One following Sunday's season-ending Brazilian Grand Prix.

"You've always got to be guarded but I think that the interest in Cosworth has been considerable," Purnell told Reuters at Interlagos. "We're hoping that within a week or so we can more or less lean back on our chairs and say yes...the deal conceptually is struck.

"The market for Formula One race teams is thinner than for engine manufacturers. Cosworth make money, they are a good company from a business point of view. The market for race teams is thin, it's a huge commitment for people and its big money and we're entering a very critical week where it could go either way."

Team sponsor HSBC are handling the sale, which needs to be done by the mid-November deadline for entry to the 2005 Championship.

"It's certainly going to be a tense week waiting for news and it could go beyond next week," said Purnell, who would not comment on the identity of the interested parties. "But I think we're really in the end game."

Formula One's governing body confirmed the technical regulations for 2005 and 2006 at Interlagos, with engines having to last for two races rather than one next year before a reduction in capacity in 2006.

Purnell said that had allowed Cosworth to make a formal offer to continue to supply struggling Jordan with engines next season, albeit on different terms to 2004.

"Given that the regulations are now completely understood for the coming year, a definite offer has gone out to Jordan," he said. "But there's no difficulty in giving a similar thing to Minardi. (Team boss) Paul (Stoddart)'s relationship with Cosworth is very strong, so there's no issues."

"Of course, they are not free. So I suspect there are some significant difficulties yet," he added. "I don't want to quote the cost but it's nothing like double (this season's cost). It's a commercial price.

"Supplying engines to a team is normally a marginal cost, you do all the work to supply your manufacturer's team and then you just look at the incremental cost of supply. Well, we're not in that situation so it's very different terms."

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