JANUARY 7, 2005

The F1 axe falls at Red Bull Racing

In recent weeks it has been very clear that there has been considerable stress and strain between Red Bull, the new owners of Jaguar Racing, and the former management which has run the team for previous owners Ford. This now seems to be coming to a head with the word in Milton Keynes being that Tony Purnell and David Pitchforth are to depart and there places will be taken by a new Red Bull-appointed management. An announcement is expected shortly but our spies tell us that the man who will be running the show will be none other than Christian Horner, the boss of the successful Arden International Formula 3000 team, who until recently was negotiating to buy Jordan Grand Prix from Eddie Jordan. Horner has a successful record with Red Bull, notably in 2004 when Vitantonio Liuzzi won the FIA International Formula 3000 for Red Bull and Arden. The appointment of Horner is obviously good news for Liuzzi as Horner is known to be a big fan of the young Italian.

We also hear that the technical management of the team will be passing into the hands of Gunther Steiner, the German engineer was in charge of Jaguar Racing in 2002 before being dropped when the new management was appointed. Steiner has spent the last year working with the Opel team in DTM but the recent announcement that General Motors is not going to continue with the project at the end of 2005 means that there is no real future in that role and it seems that Steiner, who cut his teeth in rallying, is keen to get back into F1 to show what he can do. This will no doubt help communication between the German-speaking Austrian management at Red Bull and the English end of the operation.

We expect confirmation of the changes later today.