JULY 3, 2002
Some curious rumors
JUST when it looked as though Red Bull had finally fallen into bed with Arrows, it seems that Jaguar Racing boss Niki Lauda is hard at work trying to convince the Austrian drinks company to put its financial weight behind his team. Lauda is, of course, a powerful character in Austria and Jaguar is the Ford Motor Company's team. Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz has long been keen on a link with a major American manufacturer and is busy funding a young driver scheme to help promote American racers. This is all part of his plan to invade the United States with Red Bull. Going with Jaguar would thus make a lot of sense.
This may all be related to unsubstantiated rumors in recent weeks that Tom Walkinshaw was busy trying to convince Ford that he would be a good man to run its F1 operations in place of Lauda. If these stories were true (and Tom would not be first F1 team boss to have beaten a path to Ford in recent weeks) one can imagine that Lauda would be less than impressed.
Walkinshaw does have Jaguar connections going back to the early 1980s but in recent years Tom has been out of favor in Detroit. The demise of Jac Nasser does not appear to have changed matters that much.
One would imagine that any political tussle between Walkinshaw and Lauda would make for an interesting fight as Tom must pay Niki for his engine supply from Cosworth.
Both sides will need to make sure that every detail of the contract is respected...
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