Cosworth tops Minardi's '02 engine list

The European Minardi team has been linked to a third engine supply deal from Cosworth, alongside Jaguar and Arrows, for the 2002 season

Cosworth tops Minardi's '02 engine list

Arrows is set to announce a deal with Cosworth at next weekend's German Grand Prix and although Jaguar overlord Niki Lauda ruled out a third supply of Cosworth engines a few weeks ago, a deal with Minardi would bring welcome extra revenue.

The Anglo-Italian team currently uses a European V10, which is based on a three-year old Cosworth unit that has been developed at the outfit's Ledbury facility in the UK. But team boss Paul Stoddart is keen to upgrade for next year, with a more up-to-date Cosworth supply as a possible option, among others.

Minardi is also known to be in line for a supply of customer Renault engines, should the French marque decide to provide units to teams other than its own Benetton outfit, which is to be renamed Renault Sport from next year.

Stoddart has also said that a Ferrari customer deal is a very appealing option, but that is only likely if Prost fails to renew its contract with the Maranello-based team, which despite recent rumours of payment problems, is thought to be unlikely.

Further possibilities include Asiatech engines, which Arrows has turned its back on for next year, or as a holding action, Minardi could continue to develop its current unit.

"I've said for a long time that we know where we want to go and what it takes to get there," Stoddart told this week's Autosport magazine. "There's a strong opportunity to get a works engine next year. We've been negotiating with two suppliers.

"Both ourselves and Prost have yet to confirm for next year, but I'm comfortable because we have our own engine."

Stoddart need not hurry to reach a decision because, unlike in recent years, there are currently more engine deals available than there are teams.

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