Asiatech cancels F1 chassis project

F1 engine supplier Asiatech has cancelled the F1 project that it revealed at Monza only last month. A statement said: "The Asiatech programme was technically ahead of schedule and ready to race its co-designed engine/chassis/power train package in 2003 (only its third season in F1). However, problems with its previously firmly guaranteed funding have prevented it from moving on to this second phase of the programme."

Asiatech cancels F1 chassis project

Asiatech entered F1 when it acquired the rights to the former Peugeot Sport F1 engine hardware in late 1999. It supplied Prost with a rebadged Peugeot V10 in 2000, and then redeveloped engines for Arrows in 2001 and Minardi in 2002. As well as the former Peugeot Sport factory in Velizy, near Paris, France, the company set up an R&D division in the former Williams Touring Car Engineering factory in Didcot, England.

Yesterday's statement revealed that, soon after entering F1, Asiatech made offers to acquire a controlling interest in both Jordan and Benetton.

It continued: "After [these bids] were rejected, Asiatech concentrated on developing its racing engine while supporting two teams through the free supply of a factory engine. At the same time, Asiatech was preparing its F1 racing chassis in Didcot, the wind tunnel model of which was displayed at Monza. It has been a tremendous source of satisfaction, as well as challenge, to compete in Formula One. Our relationship with the Minardi team has been excellent, and we wish them all the best for next season."

Minardi is expected shortly to confirm that it will use 'customer' Cosworth engines next season. It appears that Asiatech's F1 venture may have ended yesterday in Japan.

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