The financially challenged Minardi and Jordan teams have been allocated a larger portion of the television income after an agreement by Bernie Ecclestone and other team bosses. The deal, reportedly worth around Â£20million, is to ensure the...
The financially challenged Minardi and Jordan teams have been allocated a larger portion of the television income after an agreement by Bernie Ecclestone and other team bosses. The deal, reportedly worth around £20million, is to ensure the survival of smaller teams so they don't go the way of the bankrupt Prost and Arrows.
Jordan lost title sponsor Deutsche Post last year and has yet to sign another leading backer. Although Minardi signed a deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom in 2002, it also has yet to secure a title sponsor. The increase in revenue granted to the two teams will ensure they have a better chance of surviving the coming season.
"Without this, we would have needed Houdini at his greatest, pulling lots of rabbits out of hats," Eddie Jordan told the Times newspaper. "This means we can go to sponsors and tell them we are definitely in business. I can now say hand on heart that we are in a position to fight in the championships again."
Minardi boss Paul Stoddart was equally relieved about the deal: "There was unanimous agreement that we could not go below ten teams," he said. "It takes a lot of the pressure off us and takes away any doubts whether we would be able to see out the season."
Jordan has yet to confirm a second driver or launch date but an announcement is expected after the EJ13 has its first tests, starting next week. Minardi recently signed Jos Verstappen to partner Justin Wilson and is provisionally launching early March, in Australia.