Jackie Stewart will be returning to Formula One in 1997 as head of STEWART GRAND PRIX, a team backed by Ford Motor Company. The three-time world champion will be chairman while his son Paul (PAUL STEWART RACING: Formula Vauxhall, Formula Three and Formula 3000) will be on as managing director. The team (with a rumored budget of $45,000,000 US for the first year) will be using Ford's new Zetek-R V10 which has kept SAUBER interested in Ford as it's supplier of engines. Ford will also be involved in electronics, aerodynamics, and chassis development as it raises its involvement in Formula One. A spokesman for Ford stated that the new agreement with STEWART will not affect their commitment with SAUBER.
The team will start looking for drivers this July. Speculation brought names like Damon Hill, Heinz-Harald Frentzen, and especially fellow Scot David Coulthard. However, on Friday Coulthard ruled out all rumors that he would join STEWART GRAND PRIX stating that his contract with McLaren will run through 1997. He did add that the new team plus Ford's greater commitment to Formula One will make things even more exciting for the fans.