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Old 08-07-2002, 12:04   #1 (permalink)
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Ford may supply engines to ****** F1 team, Jackie Stewart says

August 6, 2002

LONDON UK; Bloomberg News Reports that Ford Motor Co.,owner of the Jaguar Formula One team, probably will supply rival team ****** with engines, said Jackie Stewart, a Jaguar director.

"There's every reason to believe there will be an official supplier relationship with ******," Stewart said in an interview.

Stewart didn't specify when the agreement would start. ****** spokeswoman Helen Temple said the team has an agreement with Japan's No. 2 automaker Honda Motor Co. through 2003. She declined to comment further.

Automakers sometimes supply Formula One teams with engines to generate revenue or in exchange for marketing rights. Fiat SpA's Ferrari earned about $25 million from selling engines to the Prost team in 2001. Such an agreement would allow Ford to get more of a return on its F-1 investment.

Ford representatives in the U.S. couldn't be reached to comment.

Stewart, a three-time F-1 champion driver who sold his team to Ford in 1999, said Jaguar still has to convince the company to continue backing the team. Jaguar is eighth of 11 teams in this year's championship. ****** is sixth.

"Jaguar is going through a very rough time when the economy isn't going well -- Ford has to ask itself: Is the baby too expensive to feed?" Stewart said. "It would be a big decision not to continue. F-1 is the one motor sport with global marketing."

Two weeks ago, Ford Chief Financial Officer Allan Gilmour said company executives were debating whether to continue its sponsorship of the Jaguar team.

In June, Ford was designated as the sole engine supplier for the U.S. Championship Auto Racing Team's open-wheel Championship Series for two years beginning in 2003.
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