AUGUST 22, 2002
Red Bull and Jaguar
Stories are now beginning to leak out that Dietrich Mateschitz is, as we suggested last weekend, planning to buy Jaguar Racing from the Ford Motor Company. The rumors suggest that the Red Bull boss could be willing to pay as much as $100m for the team, although he may not take all the stock. We have also heard suggestions that Niki Lauda might be planning to become a shareholder, although it is not clear how this would fit into the plan for the team to declare itself Red Bull Team USA. The intention is to create a team for the American audience to support and Lauda would not seem to be the man for the job, given that he is an Austrian!
Mateschitz would prefer to find an American front man for the team and the only person with any recent Formula 1 experience would be Bobby Rahal, who was formerly in charge of Jaguar until being dumped a year ago. It is possible that Mateschitz might look at some of the other US team owners as some of them are looking around for things to do because of the sorry state into which open-wheeler in the United States is sinking as CART and IRL battle one another.
It is possible that Ford might like to keep a shareholding in the team and such a deal would make sense in terms of engine supply as Ford is unlikely to stop supplying a team in which it owns a share. Mateschitz's long-term plan is to run an American-based team with backing from a major US car manufacturer. Basing an F1 team in the United States is considered an act of complete folly by the F1 community but there is no reason that there could not be a team base in the USA with a European offshoot looking after the racing and testing operations.
|Print News Story|