JUNE 11, 2002
Red Bull and Arrows
THERE are suggestions in the F1 paddock that Tom Walkinshaw's new backer for Arrows is the Austrian drinks company Red Bull. This would make some sense as Red Bull recently sold its shares in Sauber and has an involvement with Arrows and the desire to turn the team into an American-themed operation.
There have been reports of such a deal since last summer with reports in October in the Austrian business magazine FORMAT that Mateschitz had an option to buy the majority of the team in order to reorganize it as the Red Bull All America Team.
Arrows boss Tom Walkinshaw denied the reports which brought a strong response from an American sports marketing company called Maxim Sports Management (MSM), which announced that there is a program to create a US team and that work has been in progress on the idea for three years.
MSM and Mateschitz also announced that they were working together to create the "American F1 Ladder & Driver Search Program". This now appears to be Danny Sullivan's Red Bull-supported scheme in which MSM is heavily involved.
The big question therefore is whether or not all the elements of the story last October have now come true and whether Mateschitz has acquired a majority shareholding in Arrows and, following on from that, whether Tom Walkinshaw will be involved in the team in the future.
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