Mercedes to Limit Engine Supply to Two Teams

Mercedes are willing to supply just one Formula One team other than McLaren with engines next year, motorsport head Norbert Haug said today.

Mercedes to Limit Engine Supply to Two Teams

Mercedes are willing to supply just one Formula One team other than McLaren with engines next year, motorsport head Norbert Haug said today.

Haug told a news conference at the European Grand Prix that no decision had been taken yet on which team to supply although more than one had approached the German carmaker.

"We need to put all the effort behind it, to supply an additional team, and that (one team) is the maximum. Everything else would compromise our own efforts and we cannot afford that," said Haug.

"We were approached by more than one team but we did not go into the details so far. This will happen within, I would say, the next six weeks."

Haug said that McLaren, champions Ferrari's closest title opponents so far this year, would remain the only team with a Mercedes branded engine.

Any other deal would involve a different name, either artificial or similar to Sauber's arrangement in using Ferrari engines relabelled as Petronas after their Malaysian oil company sponsor.

Sauber, Minardi and Jordan are the three non-manufacturer teams in Formula One with the latter two both using Ford Cosworth engines this year.

The engine rules change next year, when each must be built to last an entire race weekend, and manufacturers have agreed to make them available to the smaller teams at an affordable price.

Sauber and Jordan have both been viewed in the media as possible Mercedes clients but Peter Sauber told the same news conference that his team were generally happy with their current arrangement with Ferrari.

"We have worked together for seven years but of course we have to look for other possibilities but at the moment there is only one - Mercedes," he added.

Eddie Jordan said he was with Ford.

"I've got a three-year contract," said the Irish entrepreneur, who switched from Honda to Ford at the end of 2002.

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