Jaguar's future still undecided

Rumours abounded this week on the imminent sale of Cosworth but for Jaguar time is running out. Any prospective buyer of the team needs to lodge its entry for the 2005 season by November 15th, just over two weeks away. There has been interest in...

Rumours abounded this week on the imminent sale of Cosworth but for Jaguar time is running out. Any prospective buyer of the team needs to lodge its entry for the 2005 season by November 15th, just over two weeks away. There has been interest in Jaguar but so far nothing concrete appears to have developed.

"The whole negotiation process and the deadline for any deal with an investor has been extended by 10 days," said Jaguar spokesman Nav Sidhu, according to The Guardian "But we have to know by around November 9 at the latest as entries for next year's world championship have to be in by November 15."

The latest reports suggest that Brand Synergy, the group that put in a bid to promote the British Grand Prix, has now set its sights on Jaguar instead. Talks are thought to be going on between Brand Synergy and HSBC, who are handling the sale of the team on behalf of Ford. The offer is said to include a bid for Cosworth and Pi Research.

It's been rumoured that Ford would in fact rather see Jaguar shut down than be sold, to avoid any future damage to the Jaguar brand. Red Bull was an early front runner to buy the team but allegedly Ford senior management put a stop to the deal after a handshake agreement was made.

Despite the uncertainty, Jaguar continues to prepare for 2005. "All I can say is that the staff are totally committed to keep working as hard as possible, working on developing next year's car in the hope that all will be well," said managing director David Pitchforth.

"We have had some really good results from our wind-tunnel programme and in any other year, we would be extremely excited about our prospects for next season. As it is, we're just keeping our fingers crossed."

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Series Formula 1