Jordan wins designer battle

Jordan Grand Prix has won the battle with Renault over the services of designer Mark Smith, and he is likely to take the role of technical director as the team appears on the brink of bring bought by a consortium of Arab businessmen

Jordan wins designer battle

Renault designer Smith agreed to join Jordan last month, but his current employers seemed intent on a court battle over his services as he was under contract until August 2005. Autosport understands that Renault has now released him and, although he will have to serve a period of gardening leave, should be able to start work at Jordan in December.

This is a massive boost to Jordan, as it is expected to announce later this week that a £50million stake in the team will be sold to a consortium led by the Maktoum royal family of Dubai. Jordan himself is expected to retain at least a 15 percent stake, but will remain at the helm of the team for the near future.

The firm's Silverstone base will remain, with a satellite factory being established in Dubai. The deal is seen as crucial to the team's survival in F1.

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