Despite the fanfare about Jordan’s renewed ties with Ford, the manufacturer with which Eddie Jordan entered F1 in 1991, the Irishman is negotiating with Mercedes-Benz to supply his team next year.

Despite the fanfare about Jordan’s renewed ties with Ford, the manufacturer with which Eddie Jordan entered F1 in 1991, the Irishman is negotiating with Mercedes-Benz to supply his team next year.

Last weekend, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone reportedly told team bosses that he would help to fund Paul Stoddart’s cash-strapped Minardi team if they ensured Jordan would survives its own financial dilemmas.

But Eddie Jordan has remained upbeat about his team’s future and is edging towards a deal for Mercedes-Benz customer engines for 2004.

Jordan has been in talks with Mercedes-Benz for several weeks and is believed to favour a deal with the German car manufacturer.

Sources claim that Jordan's current deal with Ford effectively costs R142,2 million. A Mercedes deal would probably cost around R118,5 – or possibly less if the team employed drivers favoured by the German manufacturer (like McLaren test driver Alexander Wurz, for example).

But the deal could quickly sour if Mercedes-Benz decided to rebel against the FIA’s proposed plan to force manufacturers to supply customer-engines to teams at the cost of about R78 million per annum.

CARtoday.com reported last month that FIA President Max Mosley was determined to further reduce the cost of running an F1 team by making engine contracts more affordable. However, BMW, Honda and Cosworth have already strongly opposed the deal.

"It is unrealistic to imagine that a competitive F1 engine package can be provided for $10-million,” said a senior executive at Ford’s Cosworth division. “The only way that could be achieved is by a subsidy from a manufacturer. It is difficult to see how a commercially viable deal can be achieved.”

Original article from Car