Things are getting busy

Nick Heidfeld, Monaco GP 2004

Nick Heidfeld, Monaco GP 2004 

 © The Cahier Archive

The latest moves in the musical chairs of the Formula 1 teams have speeded up in recent days with Red Bull suddenly back in the picture with Jaguar Racing and the Chinese businessman who was looking at Jordan having suddenly faded from the scene but whispers circulating that there is nonetheless money available to help Arden International team owner Christian Horner buy out Jordan Grand Prix. It is no clear where this money will come from but there are suggestions that a recent trip to Russia might have helped Horner revive some of his old contacts from the days when his team was sponsored by the Russian giant Lukoil. Much has changed in Russia since then but many of the people are still around. Sergei Maslov, the former president of Lukoil is now the head of Transnefteprodukt, which is a company which is busy building pipelines to transport oil to the ports.

The main Lukoil company, which is now traded on the London Stock Exchange, might also benefit from another big international sponsorship. It is one of Russia's biggest firms and acquired Getty Petroleum at the end of 2000 and has recently begun rebranding the 1300 Getty stations across the United States. The company boasts a total of 4000 stations around the world: 1470 in Russia and around 1100 in Europe. There are plans to increase the number of US stations to around 3000. The company continues to sponsor racing activities in Russia and says that one of the aims of racing is "to test the company's oils and other products under severe conditions of motor racing".

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