Unraveling Arrows, Red Bull and Team Cheever

THE Arrows team has confirmed that Red Bull will continue to be one of its sponsors in 2002. The team did not make any comment about whether or not the Austrian drinks company owns any of the shares of the team. Red Bull will also be seen on Team Cheever cars in the Indy Racing League. Team Cheever runs the TWR-developed Nissan Infiniti engine and has hopes of being competitive in IRL next year.

The arrangements are obviously an attempt by Arrows to provide a global platform for Red Bull both in the United States and in Formula 1. Red Bull is to end its sponsorship of the Sauber team and Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz is trying to sell his shares in Sauber for $33m.

The press release would seem to suggest that Walkinshaw's recent sale of the Arrows windtunnel to Jaguar Racing was not the beginning of the end for Walkinshaw in F1 as was suggested at the time. However there is no doubt that within the team there was much discontent when news of the deal filtered out. It will be interesting to see if there are any major departures in the Arrows technical staff in the months ahead.

The Arrows press statement does not explain Mateschitz's comments in an Austrian magazine that he is buying control of Arrows as part of a plan to establish a Red Bull-sponsored American F1 team.

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