Both Eddie Jordan and Paul Stoddart have vowed to do all they can to be on the grid in Melbourne next season, despite Ford's announcement that Cosworth Racing, engine supplier to both teams, is to be sold
Jordan had less than 15 minutes notice of Ford's shock decision last Friday and said: "What surprised me when (Ford vice-president) Richard Parry-Jones spoke to me, was that he gave me a glimmer of hope when he said that Tony (Purnell) would speak to me. He said look, there may be something we can do to supply you with Cosworths but, when I spoke to Tony, what Cosworth was prepared to do was double the price of the engine because Ford could no longer put any money in. They haven't put it in writing yet, but I'm not eagerly awaiting that piece of script..."
"Being realistic, it's hard to say whether we'll be in Melbourne," Jordan admitted, "but I'm an absolute fighter. I believe F1 has to have a strong element of private teams because manufacturers come and go as they see fit. We need manufacturers in the championship but the foundation of it has to be private teams. For sure, I won't go down without a big fight!"
Stoddart, meanwhile, asserted: "I'm paying my entry fee on November 15 and Minardi will be on the grid in Melbourne next year. I've no qualms about saying that whatsoever. Eddie said he's a fighter but I'll put myself up against anyone as a fighter. We did our own engine in 2001 and we've already made plans to do it again in 2005. I have no issue with engines whatsoever."
Elaborating, the Aussie continued: "If we don't have a better offer, we already have a contract with Cosworth Racing for 2005. Eddie does not, but we'd signed ours before this happened. So, in our position, we expect it to be honoured. In the event that it is not, I am sure that I will receive enough assistance to enable me to do what I did in 2001, which was to run our own engine, a derivative of the Cosworth.
"It's too early to go into great detail, but I think it's as clear a case of force majeure as you'll see - here we are in September and we have no technical regs for 2005 and no engine supply. I'd be quite happy to run my 04 car and current engine in 05, because we have V8 engines coming in 06 and it's not worth any manufacturer trying to build a new engine for 05. We're almost in October. It's just too late."
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