F1 faces engine crisis

The Jordan and Minardi Formula 1 teams could be left without engine supplies for 2005, plunging F1 into potential crisis, following the announcement that Ford intends to sell its high performance engine production division Cosworth Racing

F1 faces engine crisis

Minardi recently concluded a deal to run Cosworth engines, partly subsidised by the Jaguar works team's funding, while Jordan also has an agreement in place to stay with Ford for next year. But now that both Jaguar and Cosworth are up for sale and there is a possibility both could be shut down, there are no guarantees that either contract will be fulfilled.

That would leave both teams with the difficult task of finding a fresh engine supply for next year with just six months to go before the start of the 2005 campaign. The only realistic other option is believed to be Toyota.

Ford's chief technical officer Richard Parry-Jones said that his company would hold talks with Jordan and Minardi in the next few weeks to try and find a way forwards.

"Our fundamental reason of buying Cosworth Racing in 1998 was our ability to support our works F1 campaign," he said. "Our decision to withdraw the works efforts means we are seeking an alternative positive future for Cosworth by finding a viable purchaser. We are open to listening to buyers who have ideas of buying individually or together, we are very flexible about that whatever makes sense to the buyer we will listen to.

"We have spoken to Jordan and Minardi about this earlier today and we intend to work with them over the next few weeks to find a mutually acceptable solution."

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart reacted to the news of Jaguar's sale and the doubts about Cosworth's future with optimism that a solution could be found.

"Minardi has enjoyed a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Cosworth Racing over the years, and in light of today's announcement, we will be working closely with Cosworth representatives to find a workable solution regarding engine supply arrangements for next season," he said. "We are confident of being able to arrive at a suitable arrangement."

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