Spotlight falls on Jaguar and Jordan 29 Oct 2004
The Formula One media will be holding its breath over the next couple of weeks as it awaits official news regarding the future of the Ford-owned Jaguar team and the Cosworth-powered Jordan squad.
Automotive giant Ford created one of the stories of the season in September when it announced it was putting its Formula One team and engine manufacturer Cosworth up for sale. The move left the Jaguar looking for a new owner and Jordan hunting for an alternative V10 supply.
Despite intense press speculation, neither team has confirmed a deal, and with the November 15 deadline for 2005 championship entries looming, the spotlight on both will become even brighter in the coming days.
When Ford announced their decision six weeks ago, Vice-President Richard Parry Jones, the man in charge of Jaguars Formula One operations, said that a number of potential buyers had already expressed an interest.
However, Ford have not revealed any names and on Friday a Jaguar spokesman told British newspaper The Guardian that the deadline for any deal has now been extended by 10 days until November 9, just a week before a 2005 entry must be lodged.
Jordan, meanwhile, have been closely linked to an engine deal with Toyota. It followed comments from Toyota motorsport president John Howett in Brazil last weekend that the Japanese manufacturer could yet supply another team for next season, now that the 2005 engine regulations have been confirmed.
There have been positive murmurings from Jordan, with Ian Phillips, the team's director of business affairs, telling news agency Reuters that although any announcement is likely to be a couple of weeks away, they are very close to finalising a deal, with someone.
Jaguar, too, have reason to be optimistic. With two new potential teams having recently announced plans to enter Formula One racing in 2006, there is no shortage of new parties interested in coming into the sport.
Buying an established and credible team like Jaguar is an obvious way to do it, assuming a deal can be struck.