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Bernie believes Jordan and Minardi won't survive the winter.

NEWS STORY
23/09/2004

Days after Ford announced that it is to withdraw from Formula One, putting both Jaguar Racing and Cosworth Racing up for sale, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has said that he doesn't believe Jordan and Minardi will survive the winter and line-up on the grid in Melbourne next March.

"I think in the end they are going to find it not easy to survive," he told reporters in Shanghai. "It certainly doesn't look too healthy at the moment."

If Ford is unable to find a buyer for Jaguar, under the terms of the Concorde Agreement, the remaining teams would be balloted, and two of them would subsequently have to supply a third car. Should either Minardi or Jordan fold, or indeed both of them, the remaining teams would have to provide a third car, since there must be a minimum of twenty cars on the grid.

Paul Stoddart has already revealed that under the current rules of the Concorde Agreement, the third car would not score points, nor would the driver take part in podium celebrations or post-race press conferences. However, Ecclestone says that this ruling could be amended to allow the third car to score points, thereby, according to him, improving the show.

"It's got to be I think," he said when asked if the rule would be changed. "Why not? Otherwise its good news and bad news, you've won the race but don't get any points for anything."

Both Paul Stoddart (Minardi) and Eddie Jordan, have said that they are determined to be on the grid next season.

Ecclestone is famously unsentimental, and probably wouldn't shed a tear if all three teams went under, thinking that the spectacle of three Ferraris finishing first, second and third, would attract more fans, and their money.

He has shown similar feelings in the past regarding drivers. When Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell were both dithering, failing to decide whether they wanted in or out of F1, Ecclestone referred to the "natural culling process" of earlier generations of drivers.

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