SEPTEMBER 10, 2005

Red Bull confirms Minardi purchase

Red Bull has announced that an agreement was reached whereby, from November 1 Red Bull GmbH will take over all the company shares of the Minardi Formula 1 team and will be responsible for running the team. Red Bull will therefore run two Formula 1 teams from the start of the 2006 season onwards. The second team will be positioned as a "Rookie Team" and this and the current Red Bull Racing will operate independently of one another and compete against one another on the track.

Red Bull says that the reason for the move is to help Red Bull place its drivers.

"Red Bull has more talented drivers than it has available cockpits," the statement said. "This meant there were only two ways of helping up-coming drivers: either place them in other teams or to increase the number of cockpits available to us. After much careful thought, Red Bull decided to go with the second of these options.

"Looking at the current state of Formula 1 we feel that the second team will be able to maintain its current assets while also being able to generate its own income in the future, in order to become almost self-financing.

"This acquisition also means that Red Bull now has a second vote in any matters raised regarding the future of Formula 1."

This last point is very significant as it will now be only a matter of time before Minardi signs up to the revised Concorde Agreement. This may encourage other waverers to jump to Ecclestone camp.

Ultimately this will not really help the political atmosphere in F1 because the fundamental inequalities in the system will remain and so we are likely to see a year or two of calm and then more negotiations about what to do at the end of the next Concorde Agreement in 2012. By then it is possible that the Formula One group will be floated on the stock exchange.