Eddie ****** announced in Hungary this morning that his team will be using Ford engines for the next three years. The move has been widely expected for some time now with Jaguar boss Niki Lauda adding more weight to the stories on Friday when he revealed that a three- year deal had been offered to the Irishman. It appears as if the engines will be supplied to the team for free in a similar situation to the one he was enjoying with Honda.
****** said he had reached an agreement with Ford to use Cosworth engines for the next three years starting in 2003 and the team will be known as ******-Ford. This means that they will now be going head to head with the Jaguar team who use the same engines.
"We are very proud that ****** and Ford and Cosworth will be working together for the next three years or so," said a very happy Eddie ****** who described it as a very big day for the team.
Although Honda still had a year's deal left with ******, it is believed the team boss went looking elsewhere because Honda wanted to be paid to supply its engines for 2003. Ford's offer of supplying their reputedly powerful engines for free to ****** must therefore be seen as a major coup. A free works engine deal is regarded as a valuable head-start in the Formula One paddock.
Cosworth had been supplying the Arrows team with engines until the team hit financial trouble. It barely made the three races in July and is not participating in the Hungarian Grand Prix. Arrows could face fines from organisers and lose financial benefits from the sports governing body, the FIA.