APRIL 24, 2000
Ressler to run Jaguar Racing
WE hear from the United States that Jaguar Racing will shortly announce the appointment of Neil Ressler as its new chief executive.
The 60-year-old has been with the Ford Motor Company since 1967 and worked his way through the engineering hierarchy to become a Vice-President of Ford in 1994. Since the start of 1999 he has been the company's chief technical officer. He has been closely involved with Ford's F1 plans in recent years and it seems that the Ford top management has decided that it would be better for them to have Ressler in charge and pass on his other roles to other Ford executives.
There is no doubt that Ressler's appointment is not the long-term solution for Jaguar in F1 but it confirms the belief that the company is not yet in a position to hire the people it has in mind. This may be because they are contracted elsewhere but it may also be because there is considerable restructuring needed before they are willing to leave their current employment.
There is no doubt that the team needs to be completely restructured if it is to compete with McLaren and Ferrari. We hear that the company has recently applied for planning permission for a new Cosworth factory at Silverstone. If all goes to plan this will be built by 2002 although it may be that the possibility of a move to the Rover Proving Grounds at Gaydon came up after the Silverstone application was made.
We hear that for the moment at least the Jaguar Racing factory will stay where it is as there is no immediate demand if a location can be found for the team's windtunnel. Ultimately Ford would like to have all its motor sport activities in one place but that will not be done unless it makes sense.